Up to 1,200 kilometres of B.C.’s coastlines and more than 100 derelict vessels are the targets of new marine debris clean-up program.
This summer, BC is giving more than $9.5 million from the Clean Coast, Clean Waters (CCCW) Initiative Fund to tackle shoreline cleanups and derelict vessel removals from the north coast down to southern Vancouver Island.
The funding comes after a comprehensive consultation in summer 2019, BC said.
The main concerns raised by local governments included abandoned vessels, mooring buoys, polystyrene foam, aquaculture debris and single-use plastics.
The funding is being distributed to four agencies: the Songhees Development Corporation, the Small Ship Tour Operators Association – Wilderness Tourism Association, the Coastal Restoration Society and the Ocean Legacy Foundation.
The projects will also create a range of meaningful employment opportunities from seasonal shoreline cleanup and community education to specialized positions in the logistics, waste management, transportation and tourism sectors, province said.
“The scale of the problem is massive, and we need to do much more to address ocean debris and its devastating impacts on marine life and food sources,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“I am pleased to see the involvement of so many coastal Indigenous communities that are undertaking their own projects or partnering with others,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.