The B.C. Marine Parks Forever Society envisions a tourism attraction at Slack Point. George Creek

Marine park latest Slack Point salvation?

Society after government to lay claim to waterfront

  • Nov. 8, 2011 5:00 a.m.

By Christopher Sun

Ladysmith Chronicle

 

It is made of coal debris and garbage, and there may be a century old locomotive and other large equipment buried in it.

Boat squatters currently use it to get ashore and the area is littered with abandoned boats.

But what some consider an eyesore and environmental headache, George Creek envisions a tourism attraction at Slack Point.

“We think it is a potential site for a wonderful marine park,” said Creek, president of the B.C. Marine Parks Forever Society. “Lots of people already use it as a park so lets make it into one.”

The B.C. Marine Parks Forever Society was founded by the Council of B.C. Yacht Clubs, a group that represents recreational boaters in the province. They have worked with the provincial government in purchasing ocean fronting properties and islands, which would then get turned over to B.C. Parks or the local municipality to manage. However, this partnership has recently hit a bump.

“There is now no budget for that,” Creek said in regards to provincial funding to match what the society raises to expand marine parks. “There is no money to buy or expand the park system.”

Slack Point was created from years of coal slack and garbage pooling together, creating the current 14-acre and 50 feet deep artificial land mass.

“This whole thing did not exist before,” Creek explained, during a recent walk on the point. “This is made of slag from the smelting process, copper, coal, garbage and wood waste.”

The society’s website said there is a need to expand B.C.’s marine parks as they are becoming overcrowded. Boat ownership has been increasing by 4,000 a year, more people are taking early retirements and longer vacations and nearby marine parks like Newcastle Island are often overcrowded.

With government money dried up, Creek said the society looked at alternative ways to create new parks.

Slack Point came on the radar as all of it is owned by the province.

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