Your report was brought to my attention recently and it raises numerous concerns, including a picture of a loose pet on its front cover. It appears to have been written by a dog lobby/special interest group. I am quoted out of context and crucial information on Migratory Bird Sanctuaries and their regulations (below) is missing. The enforcement of these regulations on Cadboro Beach, where birds are now few, is the option that should be implemented and enforced.
This report appears inconsistent with the goals of your association. The CBRA’s website indicates that you are interested in waterfront protection, wildlife, ecological conservation and restoration. As seen here and elsewhere, large numbers of loose pets in a precious natural area lead to its degradation not its conservation. Loose pets are incompatible with ecologically vibrant shores, birdlife and biodiversity, not to mention that they are in contravention of Migratory Bird Sanctuary regulations.
Cadboro Beach is a public beach within Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Questions related to federal jurisdiction in this area should be clearly explained in your report. Cadboro Bay and Cadboro Beach (all tidal areas below the high-water mark) are valued components of a Migratory Bird Sanctuary where MBS regulations have been wantonly ignored for decades for various reasons. The time has come to turn this around and take this seriously in light of severe declines in regional, Canadian and global bird populations. In fact, it is long overdue.
We encourage the CBRA to tackle all matters (e.g. loose pets, derelict boats, invasive Canada Geese, boats anchored over eelgrass beds, private shoreline infrastructure) that degrade Cadboro Bay. We hope that your association will help us, Saanich and Environment Canada promote and enforce Migratory Bird Sanctuary regulations and restore our unusual, urban bird sanctuary. It features priceless nature and biodiversity in the city and precious rare species and species at risk.
I hope to meet your board later and explain what historic Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary is all about as we prepare to celebrate its centenary on Oct. 27, 2023.
Chair of the Friends of the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Victoria, BC V8S