Mermaid Creek Paint Spill Updates and News


A latex paint spill was reported in Mermaid Creek, Roberts Bay by residents on March 29th 2023. Careless/ignorant disposal of materials into storm drains threatens downstream ecosystems, in this case not only Mermaid Creek Estuary and the ongoing efforts by PSS volunteers to restore it, but also the ecosystems of Roberts Bay, including productive habitats for spawning forage fish, migrating birds, and eelgrass meadows. PSS Staff and biologists will be keeping an eye on the impacts and providing updates and links here.


Please follow for updates on the impacts to the ecosystem as they unfold.

Apr 6:  M&B Lab reports indicate the substance was Dolomite based. Ecotoxicology and impacts of Dolomite based materials on estuary and marine environments is under review. We are following up with the Town of Sidney and local Conservation Officer's on this file and will continue to provide updates

Apr 3: Peninsula Streams Staff and volunteers collected water samples of the creek and have submitted it to M&B Labs for analysis. Forage fish egg samples were also collected on the beach fronting Mermaid Creek and were positive indicating that spawning surf smelt eggs may have been impacted. Limited invertebrate samples were also sampled but the results of these were inconclusive. We have filed a DGIR (Initial Report or Dangerous Goods Incident Report) -  through the provincial Land & Water Spills and environmental emergencies (1-800-663-3456).

The Town of Sidney has reported they have narrowed the spill to a 1 block radius and are unsure of who the culprit is. PSS will work with Sidney Engineering, DFO, BC Conservation Officers, and officers of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary to further this investigation and reporting. We will also continue to monitor biological life including the recent sedge plantings and track the toxicity of the spilled material. We will continue to provide updates.


Mar 31:  The source of the paint has been reported to be from a nearby industrial painting project. Details have yet to be released on the quantities that were disposed of, or a contamination report of the specific materials. ( see Links section for new news story)