BC Marine Trails hears it again and again -- toilets are the #1 need along British Columbia's marine trail system.
Therefore a BCMT priority for 2020 is doing something about it. We have the volunteers, the know-how and the manpower to get this done.
We just don't have the cash.
Materials are not cheap to build outhouses, even when constructed by volunteers. Getting them to a remote location can also be difficult. The parts and equipment are heavy and bulky and so hard to transport. Kayaks just won't do the trick! This means either hiring a boat suitable for the purpose (with charter boats hugely expensive), or finding a volunteer with a suitable boat to get this done for us.
So for 2020 the BCMT is turning to its membership, the paddling community and the corporate world to help Clean up Our Coast, one toilet at a time.
The BCMT is slating two toilets for initial priority:
Penn Islands North, a marine trail campsite in a beautiful area near Desolation Sound between Read and Cortes Islands northeast of Campbell River.
Tantalus Landing Sxwan’shnm, a campsite in Howe Sound near Squamish.
Donations are being sought to get these done in spring 2020. Also, if you have or know of a boat that could translate equipment, materials and a group of workers to a location, let us know.
As part of this overall outhouse strategy for 2020, we'll also be tackling the overall human waste disposal quandary within BCMT through a series of best-practices policies.
On the high end, we are currently working on a prototype state-of-the-art waste separation system to optimize the composting process for a composting toilet system. This is likely the most complex and expensive solution, but also the most desirable.
On the middle ground, we'll be looking at regular outhouses and "green thrones" (standalone toilets) where deemed appropriate in less heavily visited locations.
And where not yet feasible or where traffic is not high enough to warrant an outhouse, we are looking at other best practices options through our upcoming Environmental Care Program. Our environmental consultant, Richard Romer, is working on policies for managing human waste across our entire marine trail system, and the scientifically-backed best practices for dealing with be unveiled this spring.
Coupled with that will be our marine trail users Code of Conduct, which is where we'll make these best practices known so you can be assured that what you do is done in the most environmentally appropriate way. The Code of Conduct will be unveiled next year.
So let's raise a stink about the need for outhouses on the coast and get them built! We can't do it alone, so donate generously and/or sign up to volunteer for a work crew or any one of the other numerous functions that need to be filled within BCMT.