New projects funded by the Province of British Columbia in partnership with coastal communities and Indigenous Peoples will clean as much as 1,000 kilometres of B.C.’s coastline, remove as many as 30 derelict vessels and support local jobs.
An additional $3.8 million from the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund will be used this summer to tackle the cleanup and removal of polluting marine debris, and create 440 jobs in coastal and Indigenous communities.
“Through Clean Coast, Clean Waters, we’re working with Indigenous Peoples and a range of partners to restore the health of our marine ecosystems, strengthen food security and create meaningful employment opportunities,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“It is a great example of what can be achieved when communities, First Nations and organizations work together toward a common goal to protect the places we live in and call home.”
George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Credit: Government of B.C.
Three organizations with impressive records for caring for the ocean and coastal communities were chosen for their experience and dedication to the marine environment. Coastal Restoration Society, Ocean Legacy Foundation and Misty Isles Economic Development Society will build on their success and experience from earlier phases of the program.
“As a long-time resident of a coastal B.C. community, I know the negative effects of marine debris and plastics first-hand,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “I am thrilled to see this new investment that will support healthy marine environments for Haida Gwaii and other coastal areas.”
Clean Coast, Clean Waters is an important part of the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan and its goal to reduce plastic pollution. It is also part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes the StrongerBC economic plan to protect people’s health and livelihoods, support businesses and communities, and create a low-carbon economy.
Josh Temple, executive director, Coastal Restoration Society states: “The Province of B.C. continues to take meaningful action on ocean plastics and marine pollution in the fight against climate change. Programs such as the Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative provide powerful tools for First Nations and non-governmental organizations to develop and implement large-scale environmental restoration initiatives, which support the health of our marine ecosystems, create jobs and provide clear pathways toward a StrongerBC. Coastal Restoration Society is honoured to continue to support the Province of B.C.’s commitments to these important initiatives.”
To date, the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative has:
- removed more than 1,000 tonnes of debris, including more than 250 tonnes of derelict vessels (86 vessels), which is equivalent to the weight of 300 orcas;
- recycled or upcycled 65 per cent of material recovered from shoreline projects;
- cleaned nearly 4,000 kilometres of shoreline, which is the same distance as Victoria to Québec City, and is a 40.7 per cent increase from the original target of 2,800 kilometres; and
- created almost 1,300 well-paying jobs.
For more information about the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund, visit: www.bccleancoast.ca