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

Two fires of note burning in Southeast Fire Centre

As of Saturday afternoon there were more than 20 fires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre.

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

RDCK publishes 2017 payments to businesses, organizations and staff

Public document details financial statements, salaries, expenses, and grants

COLUMN: Nelson in July, 1968: a leaky pool and a mail strike

Historian Greg Scott on events in Nelson 50 years ago

LETTER: Fire season and fossil fuels

From reader Diana Van Eyk

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattleā€™s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Most Read