Oil spill contaminates protected Gorge Waterway shoreline

Oil spill contaminates protected Gorge Waterway shoreline

The waters of Esquimalt Gorge Creek are normally filled with a variety of wildlife, but today, the sight and smell of toxic oils, instead, are front and center.

“The township got a report from Emergency Management BC early Saturday morning, our crews responded, took note of the oil slick and started putting in preventive measures,” said Township of Esquimalt Director of Engineering and Public Works Jeff Miller.

Then the clean up started. And on Sunday, it continues, with no end in sight, as a source of the spill has yet to be found.

“Our understanding from the coast guard and Emergency Management BC is that this is originating from some place else but nobody has found that source yet,” Miller said.

The Township says the early stages of the investigation has turned up no leads, as to where this oil is all coming from.

Emergency Management BC, who found the spill, didn’t provide CHEK News with an interview, but Gorge Watershed Advocate Dorothy Chambers says she was told by the agency that they feel there’s a good chance the leak is coming from a sunken boat in the Selkirk part of the Gorge, but she’s not buying it.

“I do not see any indication that that boat leaked these hydrocarbons that’s on this creek right now. They’re free-flowing at a rapid pace from underneath Craigflower road” Chambers said.

The creek is home to wild trout and coho salmon and the area is also a Federally protected bird sanctuary. Meaning this spill, could have devastating effects.

“All of the shores here are under Federal and provincial protection and they should be looked after and this is always a problem,” said Chambers.

Right now officials don’t know how much oil has leaked into the creek, but crews will continue to work to clean up the spill, as the investigation, with many unanswered questions continues on.


Ben NesbitBen Nesbit

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