A population of western painted turtles in Burnaby will soon have clean new home

A population of western painted turtles in Burnaby will soon have clean new home

A population of western painted turtles in Burnaby is soon going to have a clean new home. The new home will be free of the large pieces of metallurgical coal they have been living with since past year, when a train derailed in their backyard.

Deanna MacTavish and other members of the Coastal Painted Turtle Project have been working hard for the past few days to dig turtle hatchlings out of a nesting beach near Silver Creek in Burnaby Lake Park.

The beach was built by the group in 2010 and turtles were living, nourishing there until coal was dumber into the stream when a Canadian Pacific train operated by a Canadian National crew on CN tracks derailed in January 2014.

Following the spill, when crews and officials reached the spill site they scrambled to dig up the nesting turtles before the arrival of machines. The eggs that were saved were taken off site, and then brought home later that spring.

MacTavish said that they were totally fine. But while responding to emergency situation, when the crews ‘really did a good job’, the beach was left in bad shape.

MacTavish added, “Because there was heavy equipment that rolled onto there, there are some issues with compaction of the sand and there are still bits of coal that we’re finding in the sand”.

After the completion of the digging of the left turtles by After MacTavish and other members of the group, Lafarge Aggregates, a partner of the painted turtle project, is going to dig up the old sand. It will replace it with fresh material.

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