The BC government and Indigenous nations, along with BC tourism operators, are teaming up to clean up marine debris along BC’s shores.
Over 1,000 kilometers of British Columbia’s shoreline will be targeted to clean beaches and water from marine debris and litter.
Three tourism operators will partner with Indigenous nations to target more remote locations such as Haida Gwaii and the Discovery Islands.
“As the MPP for this region and a longtime resident of a coastal community in British Columbia, I have personally witnessed the problem of marine debris,” said North Coast MPP Jennifer Rice. .
“Haida Gwaii is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it is great news that this area will be one of the targets of the CCCW program, returning it to a pristine state.
The province has announced that $ 3.6 million from the Clean Coast, Clean Waters (CCW) initiative will be led by the Misty Isles Economic Development Society, Spirit of the West Adventures and the Campbell River Association of Tour Operators.
The two tourism operators, Spirit of the West Adventures and the Campbell River Association, have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the tourism industry.
“After a very difficult year for tourism, we are very grateful to be able to offer this additional work to our staff, including many local young people, as well as members of their community and local businesses that will contribute to the project“, said Spirit of the West Adventures co-owner Rick Snowdown.
As part of the provincial government’s CleanBC Plastics action plan, nearly $ 18 million has been invested in the CCCW initiative. So far, British Columbia has spent $ 9.5 million for ecotourism operators and First Nations to scan the coast for ocean debris.
Canadian crews have been trying to clear BC’s wildest shores for fishing nets, tow lines, buoys and styrofoam since the start of the pandemic.
Fortunately, according to a report by The National Observer, 60% of the marine debris found is recycled.
So far, CCCW has removed more than 550 tonnes of fishing gear, plastic and styrofoam from beaches in British Columbia, according to Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.
This new investment aims to create 240 jobs and is part of British Columbia’s $ 10 billion COVID-19 response.
See also: Ship designed to clean up ocean debris leaves Victoria this month