LETTER: Curtailing mosquitoes at Island View Beach

As one of the few places remaining where dogs can run off-leash socialize and play, Island View Beach Park is key for canines’ and their humans’ well-being.

For the last two years we have had to stop visiting during the summer months because of intolerable levels of mosquitoes. The only way to manage was to walk on windy days. Inadequately sloped and maintained drainage ditches provide perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes in general, and especially saltwater species in stretches of ditch where seawater infiltration occurs during high tides and storms.

This has been a long-standing issue and can readily be solved by repairing the drainage flapper valves to ensure no seawater entry and thus eliminate mosquito breeding habitat. Details and solutions have been presented to CRD numerous times but to no avail. The recent consultants’ report indicates that efforts to improve ditch drainage have been made, but the observation that there was no mosquito problem last summer is completely misguided.

Even in the north parking, hordes of mosquitoes rendered wiping dogs down after walks/swims impossible. Before driving off we had to swat mosquitoes from the car interior; these had gained access in the few minutes required to have the rear hatch open. I shudder to think what the tent camping clients have to go through.

In addition to the solutions mentioned above, the south-north ditches should be surveyed for appropriate slope to facilitate drainage. Then, optimum slope must be maintained when any remedial excavation is conducted. Removing brush and randomly deepening the ditch profile will not accomplish the desired effect if the correct slope is not maintained. None of this is particulary complicated, and if the backhoe operators are instructed appropriately, a vast improvement should be possible by the summer-to-be.

George M. Kruzynski

North Saanich