Secrets of Clayoquot Sound

Humpback Whale - taken during my recent Whale watch trip

I have recently moved to Tofino BC, Canada; a beautiful place, rich in nature, steeped in wildlife, blessed by amazing sunsets, outlined by yellow beaches, filled with lush green forests. I am dazzled by its freshness and appreciate my 15 minute walk to work in the morning. One view I am fortunate to see each day is that of Catface Mountain. The unfortunate information I learnt regarding this; is that a Vancouver Based Company ‘Imperial Metals‘ are exploring the potential for a copper mine on Catface Mountain. If this went ahead they would rip the top 3rd from the Mountain, not only changing the physical landscape, but completely ruining local wildlife patterns with the potential to contaminate the surrounding waters, with effects running much further than one might at first imagine. The process of extracting this copper might result in sulphuric acid being created as run off into the surrounding waters.

The below excerpt is taken from a document issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the full version of which can be found here – > Part 1Part 2

Acid Drainage

Sulfide copper ores, such as chalcopyrite and bornite, typically contain sulfides of copper, lead, antimony, arsenic, and silver. During the mining of ore, the effects of the weathering may be increased due to the exposure of additional surface area and an increased oxidation rate. When the mineralized material is exposed to water, the oxidization of the sulfide minerals may lead to the formation of sulfuric acid (Doyle and Mirza 1990).

The generation of acids may then act to increase the dissolution, mobilization, and transportation of heavy and toxic metals noted above. Except for iron, all of these are toxic to humans and to aquatic life and are known to accumulate in the environment and concentrate in the food chain (Wills 1981).

One group here is taking action, Friends of Clayoquot Sound. They have set up a campaign to highlight the dangers of this proposed mine and offer people the chance to have their say. Being so local to this adds a lot more weight to it than maybe most of you reading this will feel. Despite this, I apply to your deeper connection with nature and your strength to be heard, by asking you to help keep Catface as it is.

There is a template email that I ask you to forward on that you will find on the Friends of Clayoquot website.


Help keep this in pristine condition

Another issue facing the area is that of deforestation. A company in charge of the logging rights, Iiasaak, claim to be an ecologically sensitive forest management company. In 1999 they signed an agreement to leave all ‘intact’ forests well alone, keeping them in their pristine condition. Iisaak is now breaking this agreement! Stop them here.

I have pieced together a fun video to highlight the devastation of forests around the world and the ease at which people chose to destroy them and how ugly they can look during the process of clear-cutting. Having recently moved to Tofino, I decided to make this relevant to the area I live and chose to support the Friends of Clayoquot Sound, but this video is in support of all those standing up for healthy forests everywhere around the world.

Please help – Spread awareness

I hope that all of you reading this can help in someway and that my time and effort placed into this article has been worth it. Even if it gets you talking to others about the terrible processes involved in obtaining precious metals for our own consumption, I feel that will be an achievement.

Further reading I recommend for those interested in searching for positive answers to our seemingly dangerous route to the complete depletion of resources would be a book called Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough & Michael Braungart.


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