"Turning the Tide" paddle for Salish Sea pushes off from Swartz Bay on Friday morning Print
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 08:15

WHAT: Mass paddle with 25 water craft to depart on 4-Day Flotilla through Southern Gulf Islands
WHEN: 8:00AM Friday July 25 

WHERE: Dolphin Dock, Swartz Bay, North Saanich
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
NORTH SAANICH, BCTurning the Tide, the peoples' paddle for the Salish Sea will push off from the beach at Dolphin Dock, Swartz Bay, North Saanich, BC on Friday July 25 at 8AM sharp. The kayakers, canoeists and sailors will embark on a 4-day-long mass paddle through the Southern Gulf Islands to celebrate the marine ecosystem and demonstrate their commitment to protect it from the threat posed by oil tankers, tarsands and pipelines
"I grew up here on the island and a huge part of my early life was shaped by the ocean," says Heidi Exner, a spokesperson for Turning the Tide. "The wild places were both sanctuary and school. Now that I’m grown up, I want to give back to the natural world by protecting it for many generations to come."
Exner says her involvement with Turning the Tide is motivated by concern over the proposed expansion of oil tanker traffic on the coast. "Damage to the natural world cannot easily be reversed, even with the best clean-up plan. How do we look our grandchildren in the eye and say 'We exchanged your future for our own'"?
Turning the Tide: The Peoples' Paddle for the Salish Sea is a human-powered flotilla that is being spearheaded by the Social Environmental Alliance (SEA) with the support of organizations including the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Wilderness Committee. It aims to combine family-friendly outdoor recreation with a purposeful response to the issues relating to tanker traffic and a petroleum-based economy.
"As a fisherman and hunter who depends on a healthy ecosystem to feed my family I say no to increased tanker traffic," says Sasha Kvakic, an organizer with Turning the Tide. "We will never move beyond the petroleum economy by making the tar sands easier to exploit. It's not a question of jobs versus the environment. Thousands of British Columbia workers will lose their jobs in the likely event of a major oil spill."
"I am just one person among the majority of British Columbians against pipeline expansion," Kvakic says. "The people's paddle is a celebration of our love for this coast and a demonstration of our willingness to stand up to the Harper tarsands agenda."

After pushing off from Swartz Bay on Friday morning, the waves of watercraft under the command of experienced guides will proceed 27 kilometress to Pender Island, arriving at Port Browning Marina where Pender Islanders are hosting an all-day Community Gathering on Saturday July 26, including workshops, musical performances and a salmon BBQ. The following day, the paddlers will proceed to Salt Spring Island, where islanders are hosting a Community Gathering at the Ruckle Provincial Park group campsite with music and a meal. The flotilla returns to Swartz Bay on Monday July 27 at around noon.
Media and the public are welcome to attend the send-off on Friday morning at 8am as well as the Community Gatherings on Pender and Salt Spring islands. See www.TurningtheTide.ca for details.