Bowker Creek turns green after spray paint dumped into water

Spray paint dyes creek green

A portion of Bowker Creek appeared dyed green on Friday afternoon, with spray paint cans along the bank.

While out for a walk, Clint Lalonde noticed an area of the creek near Townley Street in Saanich where the water “was very obviously green.” About 15 to 20 spray paint cans, some with green lids, were in the water and littered along the shore on Friday afternoon, which happened to be St. Patrick’s Day.

Lalonde said he was disappointed to see the scene after the work that’s been done to revitalize the creek.

“Did someone actually dump spray paint in the creek?” he wondered.

He reported the incident to the District of Saanich.

It was the second incident this week of paint in the creek.

On Monday, spray paint cans and litter were found caught in branches in the creek near Haultain Street, about a kilometre away from Friday’s site, said Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society.

In that case, small amounts of orange and white paint were leaking from the cans and swirling on the surface, Henrich said.

“It’s not good. We’re trying to improve the habitat in the creek itself. Having paint in the creek is definitely not going to be good for anything in the creek,” he said.

The society placed 38,000 salmon eggs in Bowker Creek in late January and they could hatch any day now, Henrich said.

They’re hoping to bring salmon back to the creek, “which would be a big deal, because they haven’t been observed in 70 years.”

Henrich asked anyone who sees pollution in the creek to report it to the relevant municipality to be cleaned up.

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