One year after a terrible accident that saw thousands of litres of fuel spilled into the river at Goldstream Provincial Park, 3000 Coho salmon fry were released into the river as part of the ongoing remediation work.
Goldstream Provincial Park holds a special place in the hearts of many people living in Victoria. There are few places where, very close to a major city, people can visit and see the miracle of salmon migration amidst the ethereal beauty of a mature west coast temperate rainforest, or explore a sheltered estuary brimming with life, or hike to the top of a mountain to enjoy fantastic views.
When the tanker truck crashed last year, spilling its toxic load, many were horrified at the thought of the damage done to this pristine park. Repairs and remediation began immediately and the combined efforts of Columbia Fuels (the company whose driver crashed the tanker) and the Ministry of Environment have restored much of the area to, while not exactly its original state, at least a much less toxic, recovering natural habitat.
Around 617 tonnes of contaminated soil has been removed and water quality has improved dramatically, according to provincial government testing. According to the Goldstream Hatchery, chum salmon returned to spawn last fall, despite poor conditions, but chinook and coho numbers were well off.
Cleanup efforts are ongoing, and expected to take a number of years. Columbia Fuels has committed to continue working with the provincial government to ensure the restoration of Goldstream Provincial Park. People who are living in Victoria are relieved to see that this work is being done, and no doubt will be monitoring the situation. We hold this park in high esteem, and expect no less!