A North Vancouver teen is using his love of making movies to help save a treasured family destination.
Chris Dietrich, 16, spent this past summer creating a video centred on Howe Sound in the hopes of protecting it from a proposed gravel mining project.
"I like making videos, so I decided that maybe I could get a video with all the fun things you could do in Howe Sound, to show people so they can become aware of it," said Dietrich.
Burnco Rock Products Ltd., a Canadian business that supplies asphalt, aggregate products and ready-mix concrete, wants to put a gravel pit on the west side of McNab Creek in Howe Sound. Residents along the sound, as well as regular visitors such as Dietrich, are worried about the impact the pit will have on the surrounding area.
"There are a lot of other people who are trying to help out, trying to save the Howe Sound area," said Dietrich. "I thought that maybe I should do something about it too."
Burnco currently purchases gravel from a pit located on the north side of Vancouver Island, but is proposing the Howe Sound pit to mine its own gravel closer to market, hoping to shave off around 280 kilometres from its current delivery route.
The Handsworth secondary student spent all summer working on the video, travelling to various Howe Sound communities, including Squamish and Lions Bay, asking people to comment on the area. Dietrich said the people he talked to were keen about the video project.
"They liked it. Actually most of the people I asked, they were already doing other things to help save it, so they really liked it," said Dietrich.
The gravel pit site is located on 77 hectares of clear-cut area currently owned by Burnco and is expected to yield approximately one million tonnes per year. The project would employ 12 full-time people and construction is expected to cost around $40 million.
The three and a half minute video, which highlights 45 Howe Sound summer activities including water skiing and fishing, has already had more than 1,200 views, but Dietrich is hoping it will go viral. He wants to bring awareness about the mining project, "so we can save this beautiful part of the world."
The Burnco Aggregate Project is currently going through a harmonized federal/provincial environmental assessment process.
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