Clear the Coast 2021
Our marine debris program has been waiting for news of a provincial grant from the Clean Coast, Clean Waters fund for months now. Currently, we have no indication if or when a decision will be forthcoming. The purpose of the grant was to stimulate the economy in areas hard hit by COVID-19 and to provide opportunities for youth employment. We partnered with Quatsino First Nation and are excited to be planning to mount our first ever Youth Guardians expedition with them. But the youth are now out of school and understandably anxious to find a summer job, so the slow progress with the approval may end up defeating the whole purpose of the grant.
Meantime, we’re still planning to go ahead with our ‘usual’ cleanup out at Sea Otter Cove, where two years’ worth of debris awaits. We couldn’t get there last year on account of COVID, but our intrepid volunteers are ready to go in August. We hear that last winter’s storms tossed debris high into the treeline, so it may be more of a challenge to recover than in years past.
Working together this year with a local team of volunteers, Epic Exeo from Port McNeill, we expect to recover as much habitat as we have in the past. Epic Exeo will cover the road-accessible beaches from Grant Bay to Palmerston and give us co-ordinates for their debris caches. We will pick it up and get it to recycling/landfill.
We couldn’t do this without your help. Ever since 2014, you have provided the means to keep this little bit of paradise free of plastic pollution and we’re starting to see the benefits in reduced debris loads on most beaches. Still, every tide washes in plastics that may have been set adrift anywhere in the Pacific. Until the problem is solved globally, we will need to remain vigilant. And with your generous support, we will!