Clear the Coast
Clear the Coast 2017
Well, we'd hoped that this year would see significant government funding directed to marine debris removal, considering how much attention we've drawn to the issue, but not yet. Our plans for 2017 are accordingly a lot more modest and still in development, but we will be back out on Vancouver Island's West Coast to remove plastic debris before it becomes food for marine life. Please read on if you're interested in volunteering this year!
Our thanks go out to the Sitka Foundation, Nachiko Yokota and the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund's Public Conservation Assistance Fund, as well as our faithful supporters, for the funding that will enable us to work on the coast this year. It's beginning to look as if we'll have a long list of companies and individuals to thank for in-kind donations, too: we've been gratefully receiving offers of help almost daily.
The plans to date:
The trips following are drive-in, hike-in propositions: you get yourself there and we'll feed you and provide all the supplies needed for the cleanup. Please contact Maggie Dietterle at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and receive detailed maps and instructions.
July 12-16: Cape Palmerston and Raft Cove
July 18-21: Grant Bay
July 28 - 31: Hecht Beach
In the weeks of August 14th and 21st, we will be leading expeditions to the North Coast Trail and Cape Scott.
Please follow us on facebook or visit this page again for details as they develop. These expeditions will leave from either Port Hardy or the San Josef Bay trailhead in Cape Scott Park and there will be some hiking involved. Details will follow next week.
Our Volunteers make the Difference
Why do we do what we do?
Marine debris can be as harmful to ocean ecosystems as destructive fishing practices. Tonnes of plastic waste are circulating on ocean currents and breaking down into smaller and smaller particles, often ending up on or inside seabirds, marine mammals and fish. Lost fishing gear can entangle and kill many marine species. Closer to shore, debris accumulates on beaches including near-shore waters like estuaries that have a high conservation value. Derelict and abandoned vessels are a threat to pollute harbours and other coastal areas.
Tell us what you found
Robert Thorne has written a short children's bedtime story titled The Search for the Sea about the increasing volume of tidal waste and implications to us all. You can order the book from Amazon.
Old and derelict vessels are another form of debris and a threat to the marine environment. Their growing presence and disposal is becoming a growing concern for marina operators on B.C.'s coast. These vessels become point sources of pollution, leaking hydrocarbons and other harmful toxins into the ocean. If anchored or abandoned on beaches, they may become hazards to navigation.
Living Oceans has studied how derelict vessels impact marine ecosystems and how lessons learned and best practices from vessel removal efforts in other places can be applied on northern Vancouver Island. This research will provide local harbour managers, marinas and other businesses with a starting point to develop local solutions to the hazards and pollution problems posed by abandoned and derelict vessels.
Ghost fishing gear
Even after it’s lost, fishing gear continues to fish by trapping or entangling sea life. Local organizations and volunteers want to find and remove lost crab traps from recreational fishing areas in and near estuaries. We are collecting the information reported during these cleanup efforts into the Clear the Coast map that shows how and where the ghost gear interacts with important habitat like kelp beds and eelgrass meadows.