Last month, the day before Earth Day, I took my usual walking route down to the beach from North Bluff Road, following Dolphin Street down the hill to the bluff that divides East Beach from West Beach.
As I approached Marine Drive, my attention was captured by the spectacularly vibrant red tulips in the private garden at the foot of Dolphin. In the distance, I noticed the sand decorated with those swirling pools so characteristic of low tide on Semiahmoo Bay.
My personal gauge of how ‘present’ I am is how long it takes me to notice the level of the tide. I felt the chill of the moist air moving in from the U.S. peninsula across the bay, and I zipped up my jacket.
It was only then that I noticed the devastation. Much of the natural habitat beyond the railing on Marine Drive had been removed! The bank was now an ugly brown scar.
Previously, the foliage was full of birds seeking refuge and sustenance before or after their flights around the bay. This time of year, the shrubs would hide nests and baby birds.
I used to rest on an attractive bench, now also removed, facing the sea. Before long, the birds would start to appear from behind their leafy hideouts. They would perch on the Fido Fountain, now covered, and drink the fresh water.
It was a delight for the senses, listening to the chirping and watching their acrobatics.
There are so few wild places left in White Rock. These are where the birds live! Why is money being spent to clear the few remaining natural habitats? Will the bank now be shotcreted to keep it stable?
When living by water it is important to keep the foreshore as natural as possible, yet another section of natural foreshore has been destroyed. What an eyesore for both residents and visitors, and what a heartbreak for those of us who love to watch the birds.
One of the great joys for those walking the promenade at the foot of the bluff was looking up and seeing eagles perched in the trees.
Those trees are now gone.
People lucky enough to live by the sea can surely enjoy the beauty of their location while also preserving the bird habitat.
It’s unfortunate that birds can’t vote.
Diane Johnson, White Rock