Negative message in a bottle

Editor: Last Thursday (April 7) I commuted by kayak to the Cowichan Lake Education Centre from Marble Bay to attend the Cowichan Watershed Board’s public meeting and presentations.

The half-hour paddle across under a clear sky, with a gentle aft breeze, and the warmth of a low-angle afternoon sun on my back was sublime. The only notes of intrusion were two passing motorboats that noisily carved up the otherwise idyllic scene.

The turnout of community interested in the progress of Cowichan watershed policy was impressive. These stalwarts really care about our precious waters. Their passion was evident.

Following a First Nation’s prayer, presenters spoke in detail and fielded questions about lake-edge erosion factors, water balances and the proposed “rule-band” protocol, hyper-sensitive LiDAR imagery of lakeshore topography, recommendations for measurable water quality targets, recommendations for fishery rebuilding targets, and near the end, a recommendation to insert watershed field trips into the public school curriculum.

I glided back home at dusk on a glassy-surfaced Kaatza. Ahead of me, the silhouette of Bald Mountain beneath a thin crescent moon while the first bats of the season darted in pursuit of newly hatched prey.

Mid-journey my reveries were interrupted by first one and then a second bobbing shape. How to explain these erratics in the middle of the lake? One glass bottle was labeled “Miller Genuine Draft” and its nearby companion was “Corona Extra.”

Different labels certainly, but one sad message. A resounding, “I DON’T CARE!”

Roger Wiles

Marble Bay

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