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  • Sat. April 22 - Earth Day: Island projects resisting climate change

Sat. April 22 - Earth Day: Island projects resisting climate change

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Good morning !

Today is Earth Day, and there are environmentally focused events all throughout the region. We have a few of them listed for you below.

Capital Daily has done plenty of stories on environmental risks and crises. But for today’s main stories we have a more optimistic angle, with a look at how Island projects are trying to build sustainable technology and mitigate the damage from extreme weather.

Cam Welch

How Island First Nations plan to salvage sacred items from climate disaster

📸 Indigenous planning officer Nicole Norris is helping set up training so First Nations can restore and protect sacred belongings and cultural artifacts from climate threats. Photo: Rochelle Baker, Local Journalism Initiative

In recent years flooding and evacuations have struck Halalt, Penelakut, and Cowichan Tribes communities. Part of the toll included damage not only to the homes themselves but to their important contents such as artwork and wool used for button blankets and Cowichan sweaters.

As extreme weather events become more frequent, a new initiative will help First Nations protect and restore sensitive artifacts from climate disasters such as fires and floods. A new pilot training program will team up First Nations regalia makers and cultural workers with emergency response personnel and planners with a volunteer network of heritage and restoration specialists.

Read more about the program at Capital Daily.

Capital Bulletin

🌧️ Today’s weather: Cloudy with a 60% chance of showers in the day. Rain in evening. High 10C / low 6C.

🚻 Greater Victoria Public Library now providing free menstrual products in washrooms at its branches [Details]


A new wave of funding for Island’s “blue” sustainable tech projects

📸 A buoy-based wave data collection platform similar to this one will be deployed in the waters off Yuquot. Credit: UVic Photo

Early 2023 has brought several rounds of new support for local ocean technology initiatives. Four weeks ago, just over half of the province’s $7M in Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) funding went to Victoria-based projects.

One recipient, Open Ocean Robotics, makes autonomous boats powered by the wind and sun that gather data out on the sea and can right themselves if overturned. Their jobs include looking for illegal fishing and monitoring where the Southern Resident orcas and other whales are and relaying that info to protect them from marine traffic. This winter Capital Daily profiled Open Ocean Robotics CEO and co-founder Julie Angus, who is also the first woman to row across the Atlantic.

The province also gave $2M to the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST), a cluster of ocean innovation companies and projects centred in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

It’s one of several prominent ocean tech projects in the South Island, with others including UVic-based Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), which monitors data underwater from all around ocean waters on all three of Canada’s coasts using cables, buoys, and community-led observatories. ONC, which uses the data to study everything from climate effects to underwater noise, was re-funded by the federal government in February to the tune of $46.5M over 5 years.

UVic working on carbon-capture and wave energy

ONC isn’t UVic’s only ocean technology project. The university has been leading research into whether carbon can be pumped from the atmosphere into ocean basalt, where it would turn to solid rock in as little as 25 years.

Meanwhile, two months ago UVic’s Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) got a million-dollar grant from the 2022 TD Ready Challenge for its work on developing a renewable energy microgrid involving wave energy at Yuquot on Nootka Island. The wave energy project is intended to help the Mowachaht / Muchalaht First Nation increase economic development and self-determination by reducing their reliance on diesel generators.

UVic was also recently funded with $2M by the province to test tidal energy and other sustainable energy ideas near West Thurlow Island near Campbell River. The test site will be used to evaluate devices and approaches that can help remote off-grid communities get off of reliance on diesel and power themselves.

For more on how these projects fit together, and the plans to make them a calling card for Greater Victoria, read Capital Daily’s previous feature story on the burgeoning local “blue economy.”

By Cam Welch



Victoria’s 2023 Vital Signs survey

This survey is for all residents of Greater Victoria! Take Victoria’s 2023 Vital Signs survey today for a chance to win prizes.

Capital Picks

💗 Mega garage sale fundraiser: The Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, a group of dedicated cyclists profiled by Capital Daily last year, are hosting a multiple household garage-type sale today. Great bargains and unique treasures, with all proceeds to the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign. 9am–noon at 3939 St. Peter’s.

🏡 Last hurrah at the Point Ellice House: Today is the last day of operation for the Point Ellice House museum run by the Vancouver Island Local History Society. The temporary exhibit will be open 3-7pm along with a seed and plant table, and a research and collections table. Free. [Details] Read more about the museum’s abrupt closure at Capital Daily.

☕ Today: Snag a free beverage of your choice at Good Earth Bay Centre when you bring in your reusable mug in celebration of Earth Day. Valid on free coffee, tea, or espresso-based beverage.*

🧑‍🎨 Hair Prints at Open Space Arts Society: Tanya Lukin Linklater’s exhibition opens today with an artists discussion at 2pm, and runs through to July 29. The exhibition is mono-prints accompanied by Open Rehearsals registering movement and the significance of berries as ancestral knowledge and plant relatives. [Details]

🚁 Scale model contest & show: Aircraft, ships, military, automotive, sci-fi, figures, and more. IPMS Victoria’s annual event has a 1970s theme this year. Archie Browning Sports Centre / 9am-5pm today. By donation (kids under 13 free). [Details]

🎤 Rage Against the Machine tribute: Tribute band Killing In The Name joins Apocalypse Meow and Mount Rushka for a night of loud music at Capital Ballroom. 9pm start. [Tickets]

🤝 Now hiring: Nurse Practitioner at Sprout Health.

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Earth Day events

🌎 Saanich - Live music, food trucks, eco-friendly activities for kids, prizes, and a model of Bowker Creek. 11am-3pm at City Hall.

🌎 Elk/Beaver Lake - CRD naturalists present exhibits, displays, and activities. 11am-2pm at the nature centre at Beaver Beach.

🌎 Willows Beach - An Earth Day beach dance by donation. Costumes encouraged. 11am-12:30pm.

🌎 Central Saanich - Ecosystem restoration and training. 10am–1pm at Oak Haven Park.

🌎 Langford - Tree planting at Willing Park. 10am-1pm. 

🌎 Sooke - Saturday market and sustainability info stations. 10am-2pm beside Sooke Fire Hall 1.

🌎 Downtown Victoria: A screening of a documentary on BC’s Columbia River, Changing Course, airs tonight at St. Andrew’s Kirk Hall and online.

🌎 Fernwood - A “protestival” by Climate Justice Victoria on Sunday brings together performances, discussions, and workshops.

🌎 Salt Spring - Live music, guest speakers, info booths, face painting, and more. 11am-3pm at Centennial Park gazebo.

🌎 Online - Royal Roads has a digital display with research and resources on the societal, government, business, personal, and interpersonal aspects of engaging with climate change. Also online: A 2pm webinar on protecting nature in cities.

In Case You Missed It

🔥 Meet a Westshore blacksmith: Jake James has spent 18 years working as a blacksmith in rural Metchosin. Explore this photo series that follows James for a day as he works in his forge. [The Westshore]

🏀 UVic hoops star joins Vancouver’s pro team: Diego Maffia, the Canada West Player of the Year who once put up 96 points in an Oak Bay high game, will play pro this summer before resuming varsity play. The Vancouver Bandits play in the CEBL, a 10-city Canadian league that featured multiple former Toronto Raptors last season. [CTV]

🔧 Wrench road rage: West Shore RCMP allege that on Thursday near the Trans Canada at Millstream Road a Rav 4 driver exited his vehicle and hit a Honda Civic with “a large metal wrench” after a verbal dispute. Traffic was backed up at Glanford and Mackenzie when RCMP and Saanich Police made a subsequent stop and arrest.

📈 Stay up to date on Greater Victoria’s latest economic news, developments, and insights in this weekly newsletter from economic development alliance South Island Prosperity Partnership.*

🍄 Mushrooms art exhibition: AGGV’s Symbiosis explores relationships between forests, mushrooms, and fungi ecosystems, and makes the link between old-growth advocacy such as Fairy Creek and the world of mushroom-inspired art. [Capital Daily]

🛝 Renovated Langford park: The former Cressida Park has gotten new playground equipment and was renamed this week for Chief Al LeQuesne Park. LeQuesne was with Langford Fire for 44 years, most of them as chief, and died in 2022.

⚡️ Do you work in government and tech? Then sign up for Button Inc.’s free twice-monthly newsletter and up your digital communications, user experience, and customer relationships!*

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