Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Vandals are Idiots
Sunday morning an oil leak of 600-700 litres was discovered in Lower Sackville. Sadly, it was an act of vandalism; the vandals cut a line from an oil tank and the oil spilled out, into the ground, and into storm drains which led to the Little Sackville River. So the Sackville Rivers Association along with government agencies have been trying to clean up the mess. Today I went to the spill site and the site where the oil was flushed into the river to check on the health of the bugs. Just below the storm drain outflow into the river, most of the bugs and invertebrates I rounded up were dead. Just above the outflow, I checked the bug life and it was good: varied and moving quickly.
A little further downstream, I checked for bug life again and all I found alive were two snails(!). As I walked along the side of the river, the rocks below my feet would sink into the mud and oil would come to the surface. the booms and other absorbing materials that were put out are doing their job, but not enough.
The smell of the oil in the water is enough to keep fish from swimming upstream to spawn. The oil kills life in the river from fish to invertebrates. It also kills any fish eggs already laid.
The owner of the oil tank may have been the target of the vandals, but the victims include the entire community who use the Sackville Rivers system for recreation, and at least two hundred volunteers who have put in countless hours to improve, protect, and teach about this watershed.
I hope the idiots who did this are caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.