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

Volunteers step up to the grill to help the Ksan Society

A group of volunteers from the Northwest Community College are flipping burgers, walking to help after this year’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser was cancelled.

Delays due to avalanche control on Highway 16

After another storm transportation crews are busy clearing snow between Prince Rupert and Terrace

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

UPDATE: Air quality advisory ended for Terrace

People with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted.

Mills Memorial Hospital financing formula released

Regional taxpayers to pay $113.7 million for new facility.

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cariboo woman raises funds for Seizure Investigation Unit beds at VGH

VGH Foundation gets VCH approval to begin fundraising for SIU beds; local efforts are paying off

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Most Read