Action needed on Okanagan Lake

February 2011 News Grant Scott -
The recent fire that destroyed a houseboat in Sutherland Bay also again raised the issue of unregulated moorage on Okanagan Lake. 

Heather Rice, the President of the North End Residents Association continues to be frustrated with the inability of all levels of government to deal with the issue. 

"There's a number of jurisdictions involved with regulating the lake, but I figure with Kelowna being the largest city in the valley, and the one that has the impact on the valley as far as the use of the lake that they, along with the Regional District, should take the lead and really make this a priority." says Rice. 

She would also like to see more input from the federal level as well. 

"Its a municipal issue, but its overseen mostly by the feds. I believe it's time they get involved with (Kelowna-Lake Country MP) Ron Cannan to figure out what we're going to do. It's an issue all across Canada and it's time for the feds to take a look at their laws and revamp them so municipalities have control over their area." 

NERA is not simply concerned about the visual impact these houseboats have. 

They recently commissioned a water quality study which found leaking fuel, oil and human waste is having a negative impact on the environment. Plus the city's water intake is nearby and Rice is worried how the pollution will affect the water supply. 

"Its a combination of issues in Sutherland Bay because there's very little water movement with the log boom in place, and then you have heavy use with boats using that tiny boat launch there, and then there's accidents as well." says Rice. 

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