Category Archives: Sustainability

Glad Media Is Reporting ‘Sponge’ Concept – What Took so Long?

I’m glad mainstream media ran a story like this, but to make it sound like something new is innacurate.

These ideas have been around for decades, and volunteer streamkeepers and wetlandkeepers have been pushing municiaplities for more infiltration for what seems like forever.

The best way to protect local creeks and urban and suburban watersheds is through the sponge concept of getting as much rainwater into the ground as possible instead of piping it away.

Heck, BC municipalities are supposed to have developed Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs) that are supposed to have watershed protection components years ago, but many are nowhere near being fully implemented.

Stream of Dreams Watershed Education/Community Art Program

It was great to be back in an elementary school helping to deliver the Stream of Dreams Murals Society watershed education and community art program!

stream of dreams Dreamfish

There has been some remote program delivery, and while getting the message across, it doesn’t compare emotionally with being in  a school.

With careful protocols, some adjustments to delivery, and repeated and thorough sanitization between each class, today’s sessions went smoothly, and several teachers said they loved the program!

And of course team members, teachers, and students are masked at all times.

Team members are cross-trained to do both the watershed/environment education part of the program, and supervising kids through the Dreamfish painting.

The fish will eventually be installed as a beautiful mural on the school’s chain-link fence to remind students, their families, and the entire neighbourhood that All Drains Lead to Fish Habitat!

Byrne Creek Bug Count in Burnaby

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society volunteers conducted an aquatic invertebrate survey (bug count) on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, today.

Bugs give us an indication of water quality because some are more pollution tolerant than others. Our surveys over many years have steadily found mostly pollution tollerant species, and they also tend to be small in size compared to more pristine creeks.

As usual, our results were in the poor to marginal range using the methodology in The Streamkeepers Handbook and Modules.

The creek gets a lot of road wash that carries contimanants down street drains, and we also get point-source pollution events when deleterious substances are emptied into street drains, or when construction sites are illegally pumped out.

Please rember that All Drains Lead to Fish Habitat!

bug count aquatic invertebrates byrne creek burnaby bc

The new shelter near the wading pool in Ron McLean Park proved to be a great place to count the bugs and enter the results on data sheets.

CBC Early Edition Appearance on Heat Wave, Creeks, Salmon

I was interviewed live on the CBC Early Edition this morning on the topic of the heat wave in BC and the impact on local creeks and salmon.

Volunteer streamkeepers have recorded temperatures as high as 20.5 C in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, which is higher than is healthy for salmonids.

Water temperatures surpassing the upper teens mean less oxygen in the water, and also stress salmon, leaving them more vulnerable to diseases and pararasites.

I don’t know how long CBC Radio leaves links up, but here it is:

Temps to Break 40C in Burnaby

The plan today:

Up at 5:00am and get some stuff done.

Crank all the windows open until 7:00. Then batten down the hatches and hunker down while the temperature steadily climbs to ~42C (107F) here in Burnaby, BC, peaking between 2:00 – 4:00pm.

Thank you tall trees of Byrne Creek Ravine Park that keep us shaded until noonish.

Supposedly it will be back down to 30C by 10:00pm, and a bearable 23-25 overnight.

Check in on vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours.

Stay safe, all. . .

UPDATE: And watch out for pets, too. Sora the Cat quickly figured out that an ice-water filled bed warmer is a great place to hang out :-).

sora ice water bottle

UPDATE 2: As of mid-afternoon it now looks like we’ll top out around 36C instead of over 40. Whew!