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Shawnigan Lake School Alumni News: Shawnigan Watershed

NOTE: As the largest employer in Shawnigan Lake, the School takes its responsibility to our community and our shared environment seriously. The following letter was written by two passionate and talented Shawnigan students to bring awareness to our greater community.

January 2014.

"To the Alumni of Shawnigan Lake School,

We, the students of Shawnigan Lake School need your help, and wish to make you, the Alumni of SLS, aware of a serious issue developing around Shawnigan Lake that poses a threat to the school we all learned to call home for such an influential part of our lives.

A local quarry operator (South Island Aggregates), situated at the top of the Shawnigan watershed, has been awarded a licence by the province of British Columbia to, over a period of years, dump 5 million tons of dangerously contaminated soil into the hole created by those operations. This quarry lies less than 1km from the Lake and is approximately 100ft higher than lake level. The potential run-off could be devastating to the Lake's ability to function as a source of drinking water, as well as to the surrounding ecology for decades to come. (See YouTube movie )

The toxic materials included in the permit will pose a serious danger not only to the wildlife living there, but to all who use the Lake for swimming, rowing, and other recreational uses you will remember participating in yourself.

The Shawnigan Residents Association, including the students of SLS who hold two Directors' positions on the Board, is waging a legal battle against this decision. It is estimated that this will cost us upwards of $200,000. To date, we have raised approximately $70,000 through local fundraising activities.

The purpose of this letter is to appeal for your assistance in raising the balance needed. There is great urgency in this matter, as our hearing with the Environmental Appeal Board is in March. With nearly $130,000 still to be raised, we implore you to be generous with your donations.

In closing, we direct you to our website where you will find the full archive of supporting documents You can use your credit card to make your donations and to sign up as a supporting member of the SRA and this important cause.

We sincerely thank you in advance for your interest, generosity, and support, and for helping to defend and preserve Shawnigan Lake and thus our school, thereby protecting both your memories and ours, as well as those of future generations of SLS students.

Yours truly,

Fiona Zahradka (Gr. 12) and Cecil Ash (Gr. 11); SRA Directors"

SRA Twitter : @SRA_INFO

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