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Recent winter storms combined with king tides wreaked havoc in Howe Sound reminding us of the consequences of a changing climate and the need to prepare and mitigate future damage.  Strong waves eroded shorelines and the winds gusting up to 111 km/hr sent propane tanks, old docks, kayaks and other vulnerable boats adrift.  Leaky old boats sank and fuel and other toxic substances were released into the water.  Costs run high when multiple agencies are called in to clean up as described in this article on the work to remove sunken boats at Darrell Bay.

Generous volunteers such as John Buchanan in Squamish document and raise awareness of the damages, then helping to mitigate greater losses.  Federal services monitor and manage the environmental damage, but as sea level rise continues, everyone who has the fortune of living on or near the water needs to take action finding ways to prevent further damage and future losses.

The 2016 edition of the Ocean Watch Report – Howe Sound Edition  chapter on Shorelines and Sea Level Rise has several recommended actions and ways those living near the shore can mitigate damage.  Encourage your local government to take action with the Green Shores program, an excellent resource for shoreline protection.

Preventing escape of styrofoam  from poorly maintained docks is another measure that can be taken.   Styrofoam beads will be with us forever in Howe Sound resulting from the old docks that ended up damaged by winter storms when tied up to Anvil Island in 2013.

We call be proactive by reporting abandoned or wrecked boats before damage is done.

Organize or join a Shoreline Cleanup in your community, or just carry a garbage bag with you each time you visit the beach.

Volunteer clean up operation in 2014. Courtesy of John Buchanan

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