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Letter: Smoking, drinking, swearing diminishes tubing experience

In short, tubing seems out of control

Smoking, drinking, swearing diminishes tubing experience

Dear mayor and council,

We are frequent visitors from Victoria to the beautiful Lake Cowichan area. Last week, we tubed on the river with two adults and three children. I am writing to share our observations after a three hour excursion.

• Tubing is questionable as a family activity. We were surrounded by a large enough minority of people smoking, vaping, drinking alcohol and yelling obscenities that the experience was diminished for everyone else.

• Safety is also questionable. For example, people were jumping off a bridge into the crowded river. It is only a matter of time before alcohol, marijuana, crowds and jumping lead to paralysis or death.

• Your beautiful environment is suffering. We noticed bottles, cans, plastic and cigarette butts in the water. In some areas it is very clearly accumulating on the shore; we saw one person trying to collect all the garbage. I swam with goggles at times and did not see a single fish. We later learned from media reports that urinating and defecation on riverfront properties is widespread.

In short, tubing seems out of control (unless you’re there to drink, vape, and pollute) and destined to destroy the very beauty that draws people in the first place.

The town, using existing Community Charter and Local Government Act powers, could work with the regional district and province to limit numbers, charge tubers a fee, and use the proceeds to hire officers to enforce drinking, littering, defecation, and habitat destruction bylaws, amongst others. This would allow the majority to enjoy the experience for the long-term, riverside residents and other users to enjoy the place also, and the natural environment to avoid further degradation.

Thank you for considering these views.

D.R. Brooke