Coquitlam River Not Endangered According to City Councillor

I think this is of interest as there is a huge contradiction happening here. I wonder where the truth really lies? Our whole planet seems to be endangered.This River and it’s tributaries that lead into the mighty Fraser River and then the Pacific Ocean is my little corner of the world and I care about what happens to it!

My father, Henry E Prante along with a lot of members of the Port Coquitlam & District Hunting & Fishing Club have given their lives trying to rehabilitate this river — even getting a fish hatchery named after one of the dedicated volunteers, Al Grist. (sorry the links are not clickable properly- I will work on them again today and try to fix this problem)

Sandy Lamberton and others from the gun club are still doing volunteer work to feed those fish and make sure  there is a salmon run every year.

I am really disappointed to learn that perhaps the gravel operators are still polluting the river with their releases of deleterious materials into the river.

The fight to save this river started 45+ years ago, with a small handful of people doing the most of the work, and taking the Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam to task on this and Jack Cewe to court and even winning a judgment against him. Somewhere in these boxes here, I have those court documents.

Coquitlam River Not Endangered According to Terry O’Neill

By Kendra Wong, Coquitlam Now

This article was printed in the Coquitlam Now newspaper on Friday March 23, 2012.
River not endangered: councillor

Coquitlam Coun. Terry O’Neill takes issue with Outdoor Recreation Council’s ranking

The Coquitlam River has been ranked 10th on an endangered rivers list for 2012.

A Coquitlam city councillor is firing back after the Coquitlam River ended up on the Top 10 Endangered Rivers list for 2012.

The Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia (ORC), an organization dedicated to conserving the province’s natural resources, released its 20th annual Endangered Rivers Report last week.

The Coquitlam River, located between Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam, ranked 10th behind the Elk River in the Kootenays and Big Silver Creek near Harrison Hot Springs.

According to the report, the river is facing excessive sediment loads, most of which is caused by gravel mining and neighbouring developments.

“As a result, there continues to be a need for a thorough review of current gravel operations and the strict enforcement of existing environmental legislation,” stated the report.

Coun. Terry O’Neill, who chairs the Coquitlam River aggregate committee, called the report “typical for green progaganda groups” and claimed it is not based on scientific fact.

“It’s an activist group trying to engage people’s emotions rather than presenting the facts – in order to get public support,” he said in an interview.

O’Neill asserted that the sediment loads from aggregate operations have been greatly reduced in recent years.

“There has been tremendous progress made and this is a healthy river – It’s easy for an activist group to make political points to narrow it down (when) it’s a much more complex issue,” he said, adding that not all siltation comes from aggregate operations, but also from erosion and landfalls that occur naturally in rivers.

However, Mark Angelo, the chair of the ORC, disagrees, arguing the list is an accurate representation of endangered rivers that is put through an extensive six-month selection process.

“It’s a snapshot based on observations from a broad spectrum across British Columbia. We hear from people who use and recreate on rivers such as fishermen and paddlers, and we also hear from those who manage rivers (and the general public),” said Angelo.

“We’re supporters of factbased advocacy. The list is a fair and balanced assessment.”

He acknowledged that the Coquitlam River used to be higher up on the list, noting the work of the aggregate committee to reduce sediment levels, but believes more must be done.

“The bottom line is that problems with siltation still exist – to say that the Coquitlam (River) doesn’t deserve to be on this list is premature.”

Meanwhile, at its meeting Monday, council received the Coquitlam River aggregate committee’s annual report, which includes an assessment of the Partridge, Mantle and Fulawka Creek watersheds and identifies serious drainage issues from rapid urbanization that could potentially affect the Coquitlam River.

© Copyright (c) Coquitlam Now

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This entry was posted in Blog Post, British Columbia, Coquitlam River, Environment, Fishing, News and tagged , , by Hella. Bookmark the permalink.

About Hella

I am working on publishing all of my father, Henry E Prante's treasure trove of hunting adventure stories as well as his only novel. His first book, Great Hunting Adventures was first published in 1985 and is now available via e-book, from Dad also saved all relevant material related to his work with the Port Coquitlam Hunting and Fishing Club and their involvement in the conservation movement and in saving the Coquitlam River and its tributaries for future generations. This part of BC history deserves to be preserved as well. Needless to say, it is a monumental task and will take some time. Henry also travelled through the Yukon in order to get to his beloved Atlin BC. I will endeavour to provide maps and links from Parks Canada or the towns up north and pictures my brother Ray takes on his trips north.

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