Georgia Strait, BC - Jesse Capon

My Watermark is the Georgia Strait, BC.

I grew up on Gabriola Island in the middle of Georgia Strait which was just renamed Salish Sea. Water has always been important to me because I grew up on the beach, my school bus stop was about 25 feet away from the sandstone beach across the street from our house.

My first conscious memory at one years old was of standing on my grandfather's property looking at my family on the lawn having a family reunion. It was then, surrounded by nothing but nature and family, that I had the thought my only real task in life is to learn to communicate.

Certain days out of the year you can see orcas go by while we waited for the bus. The experience growing up next to a body of water like that has defined the majority of who I think I am today; from playing in the water, and fishing - at times even trying to protect the water (my parents would take me to the local Navy base to protest nuclear things and we visited our friends working on Green Peace projects as they came and went from locations around the world).

Whiskey Golf is an area in the Georgia Strait which is used for American and Canadian testing of waterborne military activities. There were days of the year when we could see the American submarines and aircraft carriers in the Whiskey Golf. Seeing that kind of stuff can leave an impression.

Now there trying to allow oil shipment carries through the strait and are calling it the ”inside passage” from Vancouver to Alaska. Oil shipment right now especially with standing rock and the pipeline debates are a very important subject. As it relates to water shipment in very sensitive environments that have a lot of things still undiscovered that need time to be brought forward.

We need to give scientists the time and resources to properly research the unknowns. Oil work and it’s transportation could do grave harm in the fragile enclosed ecosystem – we have had devastating oil spills on the coast already and they weren’t even using this waterway.

I learned to sail with my mom and dad in a little boat out west, and still do it every week. I sail in a weekly club races in Toronto Harbour. Being a Toronto native I’ve seen the really informative studies you have done about sewage runoff into the lake where I sail. It’s really important work to show the effects we are having on our resources, there is so much we can be doing in small and large ways towards a sustainable system. Now is the time – we really have no excuse especially as these sustainable models grow in power and popularity. Much of the time they make tremendous financial sense also. There is no excuse.

I feel like we should show the same initiative towards water projects like we do other city projects like the Gardiner toll. I would pay more taxes if I knew it was going to immediately help towards sewage and water infrastructure, I feel a lot of water lovers share this same opinion.

Now at the age of thirty-eight my impression of water is quite different from my views at six. But the fact remains – the entire globe relies on a clean sustainable fresh water source.

Georgia Strait, BC
Claire Lawson
Jesse Capon

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