The lady who has been a breath of fresh air in the Alberni Valley’s quest for good air quality is moving onto to new challenges.
Bernadette Wyton announced that she stepped down as chair of the Air Quality Council of Port Alberni at the end of October.
“In terms of air shed management, I’m hoping that the council can move to a place where a new structure maybe more beneficial,” Wyton said.
“And I’m hoping the city and Alberni Clayoquot Regional District can be more involved in air quality leadership.”
A writer, Wyton says she’ll have several projects on the go as she and husband Keith spend more time in Bamfield. “I’ve got work here, there and everywhere,” she said.
Wyton has been chair for 10 of the last 12 years that the council has been in existence. The chair coordinates various projects the council wants carried out, finds the funding to do them then carries them out.
The chair’s work is underwritten with a management fee built into project funding applications, she said.
Examples of air quality projects Wyton has recently been involved with include a wood stove exchange program, mobile air testing and a workshop for Grade 5 students.
In a presentation to Port Alberni city council, Wyton asked councillors to broaden the scope of support to the organization. A first order of business is to find her successor.
“A coordinator needs to be found to keep driving the council and doing work,” she said.
There’s lots of work to be done in the winter months because of inversion days, Wyton said. “The air is cleaner in the summer months, but that’s even more of a reason to protect our watershed.”
Wyton has met with the ACRD air advisory committee and requested the same support, she said.