I was shocked to see that Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, was running milky for the second day in a row. You can see my photos from yesterday below in an earlier post.
This is the third day in a week that someone has been discharging something into the creek. Volunteer streamkeepers haven’t seen any dead or distressed fish, but this amount of sediment occurring so frequently cannot be good for life in the creek.
The City of Burnaby has been swift to respond, sending out staff to try to backtrack the sources of these illegal discharges. Of course staff cannot say much while investigations are ongoing, but I hope they are successful.
While a fine or two would be great to make perpetrators sit up and take notice, I am generally not gunning for punitive measures. Education and outreach are key in the long run.
UPDATE: As of late afternoon, City staff had traced the source to a broken line on private property that was seeping and carrying silt into a drain. As is often the case, it was unintentional, and will be fixed.
UPDATE 2: As of 6:30 pm, I received a report from another volunteer streamkeeper that a “deluge” of water was passing through Griffith’s Pond, and that she had contacted the City of Burnaby, and had been told there was a watermain break somewhere upstream. How many hits can this poor creek take in a day, much less in a week?
Here’s what Griffith’s Pond near Edmonds Skytrain Station looked like as of 7:00 pm tonight:
Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby was running milky today. All drains on streets and parking lots lead to local creeks!
I don’t know what the substance was, but local streamkeeper volunteers first shared the info just after 1:00 pm today, and as I walked the creek from 2:30 to 3:30 it was still running milky.
City of Burnaby staff were out trying to track the source through the storm system.
This is the second such event in a week! Last week the creek was running silty brown from what appeared to be construction-site silt.
Here are some shots of today’s event:
The pond near Griffiths Dr.
The outflow from the pond into the creek
Close-up of the milky flow
Further down the creek, near the playground at Ron McLean Park
Here’s my Flickr album of frogs, moths, ducks, dragonflies, etc. from Deer Lake, Burnaby. I took a 2.5-hour walk around the lake and up into the meadows, and back.
This mom wood duck is looking pretty good for someone keeping an eye on half-a-dozen pre-teens, eh? : -)
Deer Lake in Burnaby, BC, this afternoon
I took a stroll along Burnaby Foreshore Park in South Burnaby over lunch today. I love checking out the pond life, and seeing what’s happening along the river.
Check out my Flickr album here.
Somebody was being naughty today, allowing sediment to flow into Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby.
Vigilant streamkeepers reported the ugly looking and potentially fish-killing pollution to the City of Burnaby. Thanks to the volunteers who keep “eyes on the creek” and immediately notify the City of any problems. And thanks to City staff who responded quickly.
It was obvious which storm pipe the sediment came from, as can be seen in the photos below.
If you were a fish, amphibian, aquatic insect, or any other animal, do you think you’d like to be swimming in that?
Here you can clearly see that the sediment entered the creek through this storm outlet.
Another view. The flow here in the upper portion of the creek on a dry day is so slow that this “slug” of sediment was barely moving. It’ll take a rain to flush it out of the creek.
I took a break from the din of the multiple commercial fans drying out the water damage in our townhouse, and headed down to Elgin Heritage Park. It’s one of my favourite places to photograph birds.
I took a bunch of photos today with the new Tamron 150-600mm zoom (225-900mm equivalent on my DX-sensor Nikons).
Here are a few from the Byrne Creek habitat in SE Burnaby:
Butterfly on leaf
A slightly different view
Grasshopper in Byrne Creek habitat in SE Burnaby
And several from Piper Spit at Burnaby Lake in Burnaby:
Goslings at Piper Spit, Burnaby Lake
Female wood ducks, Burnaby Lake
I think female wood ducks are so cute!
While male wood ducks are quite spectacular
Duck playing hide and seek among the lillypads
A common whitetail dragonfly?
All of the above shots were with the Tamron 150-600 on a Nikon D5200 camera. ISOs ranged from 400 in bright sunlight to 1,600 in shade to keep shutter speeds high. The lens was mounted on a Manfrotto 679B monopod with a Vanguard SBH-100 ball head.
While heavy, this rig is not unmanageable. I think I would have soon tired if the rig had not been on a monopod. It was useful not only for stabilization while shooting, but also to simply stand and rest!
There’s been a spate of articles recently about the Fraser River, climate change, and the potential economic impacts on BC’s lower mainland.
We dam them, dike them, divert them, dredge them, suck them near dry, build on them, pollute them. . .
And then we’re aghast when rivers get pissed off and try to break their shackles now and then.
We wouldn’t need billions of dollars to shore up dikes if we didn’t build our cities on flood plains, marshes, and bogs.
But hey, are those articles perhaps looking at things backwards? By traditional measures of GDP, all the work that will need to be done to shore up those seawalls and dikes is going to be a major boost to the economy, isn’t it?
We’ll just borrow more against future generations to keep the pyramid scheme going.
It’s hot and sunny today, so the beaches were crowded at Alice Lake Provincial Park just north of Squamish, BC, and the campground was full. I was there for the easy ramble around the lake, and found the trail cool and nearly deserted.
You can find my Flickr album here.