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

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Mudslide closes viewing area at Sooke Potholes

Safety concerns have led to the closure

Second co-housing community planned for Sooke

Community described as a ‘new way of living’

WATCH: Medieval fighters train in Colwood

Fighters are gearing up for world championships in medieval combat

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read