FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2010
Delay in removing the wharf is causing severe environmental damage to fish habitat
Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Park Board Commissioners Ian Robertson and Stuart Mackinnon are demanding that the Park Board take immediate action to remove the wharf at Jericho Beach. Information provided to the Park Board from Fisheries and Oceans Canada outlines that fish habitat and other marine life is being severely compromised due to toxic contaminants leeching into the water from old creosote pilings.
“This is another example of the Vision Vancouver Park Board caucus waffling on a decision by the previous park board to return the beach to a natural foreshore. Not only is taxpayer money being wasted but now we have a significant environmental problem”, says Park Board Commissioner Ian Robertson.
The Jericho Marginal Wharf, built in the 1930s, was once used by the Royal Canadian Air Force as a float plane base. It has been closed to the public since the summer of 2009 as it has been deemed a hazard due to age related structural problems.
“Vancouver, being a coastal city, is blessed with a beautiful foreshore, but unfortunately much of it is not accessible to the public. Returning this area to its natural habitat will enhance the area, and create a haven for both people and nature” says Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon. “It’s time the Park Board moved on this”.
The previous Park Board voted in July 2008 to remove a significant portion of the wharf and return the beach to a natural state. Despite three previous public meetings and strong public support for returning the beach to a natural state, the Vision Vancouver Park Board caucus voted unanimously in March 2009 to rescind the previous Board’s decision.