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Fish kill sparks cleanup

NV dealership, volunteers to fix up Mackay

A North Shore car dealer and a conservation group are coming together to clean up a stream where scores of salmon were found dead last month.

Staff from North Shore Kia and members of the Coho Society will be descending on North Vancouver's Mackay Creek Aug. 21 to get rid of garbage and non-native weeds and to stencil yellow salmon warnings near storm drains that empty into the waterway in an effort to improve conditions for the fish. They will also be hauling out the remains of at least one defunct car.

The project, which falls under the company's larger Drive Change campaign, was motivated in part by a story that appeared in the North Shore News about the hundred or so coho that perished mysteriously in the creek July 8, according to the dealership. The fish, whose deaths are still unexplained, were discovered by a group of young children who were on an outing with a member of the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation.

"I use to teach Grade 4, and two years ago at the school I worked for, we raised salmon from eggs and then released them," said Shannon Soper, operations manager of North Shore Kia.

"So when I found out that these kids were being taken to see salmon being released, and instead they saw dead salmon, it hurt."

Soper is hoping that the community will be supportive of the project.

"My concern is that we are going to set this all up and it will only be the 12 people who work at the dealership that come," said Soper.

"We definitely want as many people to come out and help drive the message behind the whole Drive Change campaign, because that message is that it is up to you to drive change, and it is up to you to make a change."

The cleanup will take place Aug. 21 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are asked to meet at Lower Mackay Park in the parking lot of the Grant Connell Tennis Centre at 280 Lloyd Avenue. For more information, contact North Shore Kia at 604-983-2378.