July Green Talk: What does the future hold for Howe Sound?

Howe Sound is North Americas southernmost fjord, beautiful and wild yet easily accessed from Vancouver or Whistler in 30 minutes. With a history of industrial mismanagement the Sound was ecologically devastated. After decades of restoration and in excess of $46 million dollars of taxpayer money, the Sound has seen an ecological renaissance, culminating with the return of Orcas.

Yet even with this history the Sound is being slated as the site for over 10 separate commercial and residential development proposals. In AWARE’s July 2nd Green Talk the case will be made for assessment of the potential cumulative effect of so much development in this unique area.

Guest presenter Eoin Finn has been a key advocate for the endorsement of a cumulative effects assessment and has presented the need for this to citizen groups, organizations and local and regional governments. Eoin will give an overview of the various development proposals on the table, explore impacts such as increased tanker traffic and will provide detail around some of the developments already undertaking community consultation, such as the Woodfibre LNG proposal.

AWARE has also invited Tracey Saxby of My Sea to Sky who will be detailing the environmental impact assessment processes specific to the industrial developments.

Development of the Sound could have real impacts for tourism and therefore Whistler. We hope that dedicating our upcoming Green Talk to the issue will add support to the various groups currently working to raise awareness and provide an engagement opportunity for our members and Whistlerites.

About Eoin Finn:

Eoin Finn grew up in Ireland and moved to Canada to attend graduate school in 1968. He is retired, having been a Partner in the Accounting / Consulting firm KPMG. A seasonal resident of Bowyer Island in Howe Sound for the past 30 years, and the father to two marine biologist daughters, he is thrilled by the return of the orcas, dolphins, herring and salmon to Howe Sound. Eoin holds Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry and an MBA in International Business.

No need for the rainy day blues

The forecast may be for a rainy weekend but the kids are all right because there is lots of fun to be had at the AWARE Kids Nature Club…

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The AWARE Kid’s Nature Club has been educating local and visiting youth about all things environmental since 2007. The Nature Club is held on the last Sunday of each month, from 10am – 11:30am at the Whistler Public Library.

These free sessions are focused on encouraging learning through fun interactive activities and are open to all but are mainly intended for kids aged 4-12 (all kids must be accompanied by a parent).

The AWARE Kid’s Nature Club would not be possible without the support of the Whistler Public Library, Regional Recycling and the volunteers who run the club.

For more information regarding the AWARE Kid’s Nature Club please contact us via e-mail: info@awarewhistler.org or the contact form on this site.

May Green Talk – Gardening with Native Species & Avoiding Invasive Plants

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Join AWARE for our May Green Talk on planting with native species.

As the warm weather is here and we get itchy green fingers, Clare O’Brien of the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council will talk about how to avoid introducing invasive species into our gardens. Highlighting the invasive plant species found in Whistler gardens, how to identify them and great alternatives.

Green Talks are possible thanks to a venue partnership with the Whistler Museum and the presenters who volunteer their time to share their knowledge.

Where: Whistler Museum

When: Wednesday May 7th, 6pm

Join AWARE on Pitch In Day

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Saturday May 3rd, 8:30am @ Nesters Market

The annual clean-up where different community groups ‘Pitch In’ to help clean up the trash that is left behind after the snow melts.  Pitch In Day and the materials needed are organised by the Resort Municipality of Whistler and every year AWARE oversees the area around Nesters and White Gold.

Meet at Nesters Market at 8:30am to get your equipment.  Dress for the weather and if you have gardening gloves we would recommend them from past experience! After a morning or work all volunteers are head to a free BBQ at the firehall for lunch.

Happy Earth Day!

As someone who is on this website and interested in AWARE we hope you agree that every day is Earth Day.  But it’s always good to have extra cause to celebrate and consider the value we get from the environment (air, water, food, a place to have fun) and the impact we have on that same environment.

For things to consider when thinking about ways to reduce personal impacts here’s a ‘Top 10 Tips’ from Earth Day Canada.

For those of us more inspired by visuals, here is a great info-graphic of options to consider from Irene Lee.

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Earth Day Screening of The Island President

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This Earth Day join AWARE for a FREE screening of The Island President

When: April 22nd (Earth Day), 7pm

Where: Whistler Public Library

What: (Movie Synopsis)

Jon Shenk’s The Island President is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. Continue reading

Whistler Bag Pilot Launches with help from Spring Creek School Spirit Team

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It was great to have the Spring Creek School Spirit Team and Ian Lowe, General Manager at the Crystal Lodge Hotel & Suites present for the delivery of the Whistler Bags.

Check out this video to see how it works!

Special Thanks to the projects funders the American Friends of Whistler, without whom the project would not have been possible.

A Night with Grizzlies – April 8th

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Join the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative and AWARE on April 8th to learn about grizzly bears in southwestern BC and what you can do to save them. Guest speakers will share their knowledge and adventure stories from many years of working with Grizzlies.  This event takes place April 8th, 7pm at Millennium Place.  Admission is $5 with registration through eventbrite (click here), admission may also be available at the door if there are still spaces.

Guest Speakers will be: Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiatives Field Director, Johnny Mikes, PBS & BBC TV Host, Ecologist and Narrator, Chris Morgan and BC Ministry of Environment’s Tony Hamilton.

Continue reading

March Green Talk – Waste Management & Incineration in the Sea to Sky Region

The topic for AWARE’s March Green Talk is focused on the Zero Waste Agenda.

As Metro Vancouver continues to search out a site for the construction of an energy from waste plant (incinerator) to deal with garbage generated in the Lower Mainland and with one site suggested as Howe Sound’s Port Mellon, it is expected that more potential sites will be identified within the Sea to Sky Region.

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Join AWARE as we invite Whistler based Waste Management Specialist Sue Maxwell of EcoInspire to understand why adopting a zero waste agenda is so important, basic principles of zero waste and concerns about the environmental impacts of waste incineration.

Sue will also be talking about some of the materials that create disposal challenges, such as biodegradable materials versus the lower impact recyclable and compostable materials.

The Q&A will provide an opportunity for attendees to ask about specific items and what the new Multi Materials BC could mean for Whistler.

March Green Talk takes place Wed. March 5th, 6-8pm at the Whistler Museum.

AWARE’s Green Talks are free to AWARE members and future-members are able to attend through entry by donation. Our thanks go to the Whistler Museum for hosting the bi-monthly Green Talks, Sue Maxwell for sharing her knowledge and the Community Foundation of Whistler for their support of AWARE’s increased outreach programming.

The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) strives to improve the quality of life in Whistler and surrounding areas, protect and restore the natural heritage and maintain our resources and ecosystems, and achieve environmental sustainability through community education and advocacy.