Victoria harbour, Fraser River are B.C.’s most polluted coastlines: study

Environmental group makes pollution tracker and examine 55 coastal areas

Anyone living in B.C. can now see just how polluted their coastline is, thanks to a pollution tracker.

The organization Ocean Wise tracked common pollutants across 55 coastal locations to pinpoint the most troubling areas.

Every sample collected by researchers was contaminated by some chemical, with the most common ones being coolants, paint additives and a “coal tar” for coating water tanks and bridges.

Polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, which was used as a coolant and a coating for bridges and other infrastructure, was found in large amounts all along the coastline.

Researchers said the findings could help explain why the endangered southern resident killer whale on the B.C. and Washington State coasts carry the highest PCB levels of any mammal in the world.

The tracker also found high levels of hydrocarbons, which are chiefly found in oil and gas products, and researchers noted that continued study could help generate a baseline level that would help with oil spill responses.

The Victoria harbour is especially vulnerable because it is shallow and has little water movement. The four sites measured in there all had some of the highest pollution levels in B.C.

Other heavily polluted sites included the Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

1954-built trolleybus hits Vancouver roads for 70th anniversary

TransLink to offer free rides on a retrofitted electric trolley bus to commemorate anniversary

Most Read