File photo The last regular White Rock Canadian Open Sandcastle competition was held in 1987.

White Rock sandcastle plans ‘would likely not be authorized’ on the waterfront

Initial provincial reaction emphasizes envionmental concerns

Even if White Rock’s Canadian Open Sandcastle Competition can be revived for a 40th anniversary event in 2019, it’s likely environmental concerns will dictate an event much scaled-back from the scope the public contest reached in the 1980s.

Latest word from provincial authorities suggests such an event might use trucked-in sand in an environmentally safe area, rather than staging it on the open shore as happened in the past.

“Events of this nature would likely not be authorized within the (Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area), in order to maintain and protect the values for which the WMA was created,” Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development regional executive director Allan Johnsrude writes in a July 9 letter to Mayor Wayne Baldwin.

The White Rock Events Society, which successfully resurrected the now city-run Sea Festival four years ago, appeared before council in June to request for city support for a sandcastle competition reboot.

But Johnsrude’s letter appears to confirm that securing provincial authorization may make the competition a harder prospect to achieve than in days gone by.

The letter, part of council’s agenda for Monday’s (July 23) meeting, is a response to the society proposal, forwarded by Baldwin.

Johnsrude notes that the information package provided by the society is “insufficient to determine exactly which provincial authorizations may be required,” and that a map showing the location of the proposed event would be necessary to determine whether a Crown Land Authorization is needed.

He also notes that the Boundary Bay WMA has been established since the last regular competition event was held in 1987.

“Any activities (particularly of this size) within the WMA would require approval by the Fish and Wildlife Regional Manager as per the Wildlife Act.”

While giving a generally favourable reception to the society’s request, council members and staff had already warned that the environmental concerns of provincial authorities – and such key local stakeholders as Semiahmoo First Nation and the Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society – might pose serious obstacles to revival of the competition.

Baldwin, in particular, counselled the society to “start off a little smaller and don’t try to replicate what the sandcastle competition was in its heyday.”

Johnsrude’s letter does offer some hope – and a suggestion – for a White Rock sandcastle competition, however.

“Similar events in other areas reportedly utilize sand imported for the purpose to locations that minimize impacts,” he writes.

“I understand that a sand castle competition located in Parksville is held in a municipal park using sand that is trucked in, rather than the adjacent WMA.”

– More to come

Just Posted

Proudly Surrey modifies child-care policy

Slate wants to use school board property for child-care spaces

Surrey school board wants to expand French Immersion program

District had to close program at Cougar Creek Elementary due to low enrolment

VIDEO: Scarecrow festival kicks off in Port Kells

Fourth-annual event will be on until Halloween

Delta to craft whistle-blower policy

The policy is meant to increase public trust and create support for staff in questionable situations

White Rock rail forum leads to renewed calls for relocation

Upgrading safety is not enough say local politicians

VIDEO: North Delta Studio Stomp back for sixth year

The annual art event has local artists opening their studios to the public this weekend

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read

l -->