A barge hauls a load of debris pulled from isolated Tod Inlet last week.

A barge hauls a load of debris pulled from isolated Tod Inlet last week.

Agencies team up to clean up inlet

More than three tons of metal are in the recycling heap after a massive cleanup of Tod Inlet last week, from Feb. 14 to 17.

More than three tons of metal are in the recycling heap after a massive cleanup of Tod Inlet last week, from Feb. 14 to 17.

For the second time in six months, multiple agencies over multiple government jurisdictions came together to clean up the waterway.

“The exercise has been positive because a lot of stuff that was out there that shouldn’t be, is out. But as well, it’s set us on a good course for the future,” said Central Saanich Coun. Adam Olsen.

The Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, the District of Central Saanich and the Tsartlip First Nation removed and recycled metal, batteries, tires and paints during the three-day cleanup.

More than 30 dump truck loads of garbage weighing more than 60,000 kilograms went to the landfill in the follow up to cleanup work done in September. Tod Inlet, north of Finlayson Arm, abuts the northern tip of Highlands, Gowlland Tod park, Saanich and Central Saanich.

“Transport Canada came in the fall and removed some marine buoys that didn’t meet the Transport Canada regulations,” Olsen noted.

A half dozen boats were also deemed environmentally dangerous or abandoned and removed during the fall work.

The second phase of the cleanup included an accumulation of unsafe material and abandoned vessels near the mouth of Tod Inlet and creeping into Gowlland Tod park.

“It only works if all levels of government that have authority and jurisdiction work together, otherwise everybody stands around looking at each other saying, ‘Who’s going to do it first?’” Olsen said.