A local environmentalist is urging people rebuilding their docks on Okanagan Lake to follow the law.
“Don't use styrofoam,” said Debbie White of World Oceans Day.
About 1,200 docks are expected to be rebuilt over the next year or more after they were destroyed by this spring's unprecedented flooding and wind action on the waterfront.
Following one of the large wind events, White found a large styrofoam-filled tire washed ashore next to the Sails in downtown Kelowna.
She said it had been used illegally on a dock on Okanagan Lake.
“There is a sister (tire) somewhere spewing a million tiny bits of styrofoam into our waters, killing our birds and fish,” White said. “Styrofoam is used illegally for buoyancy on docks or floating docks that are homemade. Certified dock builders refuse to use styrofoam.”
White said volunteers from her group have been picking up styrofoam along the shoreline for years, especially along a small beach to the right of Kelowna's marina.
“The British Columbia government has assured World Oceans Day that styrofoam is considered a toxic material, is not approved for any part of dock construction and they will be watching as 1,200 docks are rebuilt on Okanagan Lake after the flooding.”
White said birds and fish eat small bits of styrofoam and plastics, causing a slow painful death.
Last month, in a cleanup along the Kelowna lakeshore, White's group collected four five-feet-high garbage bags of styrofoam pieces, she said.