What is Save Desolation Sound Society?
Save Desolation Sound Society is a not for profit organization aimed at protecting the pristine natural environment of Desolation Sound, British Columbia. By raising awareness through education, taking action against potential environmental threats, and better defining the area, Save Desolation Sound strives to protect this spectacular place for generations to come.
Where is Desolation Sound?
Desolation Sound, known as an ocean paradise, is located in the Northern Salish Sea. It is one of the last undeveloped areas of the Georgia Strait which stretches from Seattle, Washington to Campbell River, B.C. It falls within the traditional territories of the Sliammon, Hamalco, and Klahoose First Nations. The First Nations have occupied many sites throughout Desolation Sound for thousands of years. In 1973, the Government of British Columbia created Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park, a protected area comprised of 8,449 hectares and has more than 60 km of shoreline, several islands, numerous small bays and snug coves.
Why is it an important area to protect?
Desolation Sound is unlike any place in the world. The untouched natural environment includes spectacular fjords, mountains and the warmest waters north of the Baja Peninsula. Ideal for swimming, boating and exploring, the waters, islands, rivers, beaches and coves of Desolation Sound make it a sought-after destination for nature enthusiast from all over the world.
What is happening now? What is the issue?
In August 2016, Save Desolation Sound Society was informed that Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. will not pursue the extraction of aggregate at the Lloyd Creek site adjacent to Desolation Sound Marine Park. While this proposal will not move forward, Save Desolation Sound Society will continue to monitor any proposed industrial applications for the Sound.
In the Spring and Summer of 2016, Save Desolation Sound was raising awareness about this proposed gravel pit. Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited proposed to build a gravel pit in the Lloyd Creek Area of Desolation Sound. The company was seeking approval to conduct investigative activities in the area. As part of the site investigation, 122 hectares of land would have been impacted, including the cutting of timber and a significant sonic drilling program consisting of 22 drill holes.
On June 14, 2016 Save Desolation Sound Society was informed that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) made an “offer” to Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. on June 10, 2016 in regards to the license of occupation in Desolation Sound.
On June 27, Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. confirmed it applied for and received a permit for limited exploratory surface drilling in the Lloyd Creek Area of Desolation Sound from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. At this time, they confirmed they will conduct a high level investigation as to the potential availability of the aggregate resource in this area.
In August 2016, Save Desolation Sound Society received word that Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. was no longer going to move forward with the investigative activities.
Where was the proposed gravel pit site?
The proposed site was located in the Lloyd Creek area in Homfray Channel, Desolation Sound. The maps below highlight the approximate area of the proposed gravel pit.
What do we know about Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited?Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited is a significant part of a worldwide heavy building materials company, with over 14,000 employees in North America. Lehigh Hanson Canada itself employs 2,000 people. Lehigh Hanson Canada is owned by HeidelbergCement of Germany and is part of an international network in more than 40 countries on five continents. With over 55,000 employees, HeidelbergCement is the global leader in aggregates and has leading positions in cement, concrete and heavy building products. Learn more about Lehigh here.
Why was Save Desolation Sound in opposition of the gravel pit?
The proposed operating gravel pit would have:
- Negatively impacted the natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere of Desolation Sound by potentially impacting the natural typography of the land, waterbodies and native vegetation and wildlife.
- Negatively impacted tourism and recreation to the Desolation Sound area, and the neighbouring Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park. Operating activities will be clearly and directly visible from Prideaux Haven, one of B.C.’s premiere natural tourist boating destinations. Operating activities could have also generated increased road, air and marine traffic that is both unsightly and loud, and potentially a burden on the natural environment and tourism industry.
While Save Desolation Sound understands the need for resource development, we do not believe we should sacrifice this pristine area.
Save Desolation Sound believes the natural beauty and long-term economic value of this area are worth far more than the short-term gains of gravel extraction.
Save Desolation Sound believes a gravel pit is an inappropriate and environmentally unsustainable project for the area. On June 6, 2016 Save Desolation Sound Society submitted a formal letter of objection to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Read our Letter of Objection here.
I’d like to donate to Save Desolation Sound Society. Where does the money go?Due to the success of our recent campaign, we are no longer accepting donations to Save Desolation Sound Society. Thank you for your support!
I’m from the media, who can I speak to?For media inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.