Tidepool update

Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Articles | One Comment

I have just gotten back from my workshop in Tofino, BC., and I have sad ecological news. The tide pools that I have raved about, that I look forward to seeing and photographing so much are basically decimated. I saw none of the giant, colorful sea stars that the Pacific coast is so famous for and very little of the coexisting critters- eel grass, anemones, chitons all either absent or in bad shape.

The reason is that there is a pernicious disease called wasting disease that has wiped out 95% of the sea stars on Vancouver Island. Wasting disease is well established from southeast Alaska to California causing all west coast tide pools and the intertidal ecology to suffer. The exact cause of wasting disease is unknown- a virus is the most common explanation- and there are no solutions other then time and hope.

Makes you wonder how long humans can mess with the oceans and be oblivious to the damage. Oh, by the way, I also found out that the city of Victoria, BC, home of Bouchart Gardens and thousands of US tourists every year dumps their raw sewage directly into the ocean untreated. That’s right, all the sewage for a city of almost 80,000 people is dumped into the ocean. What a hideous combination of arrogance and ignorance.

1 Comment

  1. Mitchell Preston
    June 9, 2016

    I took your course in Maine in 1999 and grew to appreciate the fragile balance of nature. Photographing the same areas in time can be a sad event. Home movies of the blue waters of Conesus Lake NY in the sixties to a mud hole today. Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie pollution. Acid rain effects on Mount Mitchell NC. In the mid eighties I was involved in guitar lessons down in the Southern Tier of NY with a good friend and musician, Tai Chi master and lover of nature. We had a conversation about the environment and future of our planet. To my amazement he had very little worry about all of it. He simply stated “Don’t ever worry about Mother Earth, if she ever tires of us she’ll shake us off like so many fleas and repair herself.” He passed away the spring after I took your course while I was photographing down in Texas, on the gulf shores near Galveston. Watching medical waste settle along the beaches.

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