B.C. has awarded $270,000 to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to expand its tsunami debris removal project along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
The funding will be used for tsunami debris cleanup efforts including training and education about debris identification and disposal, transportation of volunteers and collected debris in and out of remote areas and cleanup supplies.
Under the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program, 59 shorelines, totalling approximately 88 kilometres, have already been identified for cleanup along B.C.'s west coast. This funding will increase the program's capabilities to reach remote shorelines and provide assistance to coastal communities.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a conservation program led by the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF (World Wildlife Fund), and is presented by Loblaw Companies Limited. The program is a valued partner to local, provincial and federal governments in cleaning up any tsunami debris that washes up along the coastline.
The funding is available through the one-time grant of approximately $1 million the Government of Japan presented to the Government of Canada last year to help clean up tsunami debris.
To date, more than $646,000 has been awarded to successful applicants to put toward their collaborative efforts in developing plans for managing and cleaning up tsunami debris along B.C.'s coastline
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment -
"The volunteer efforts of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup on our coast have been remarkable and I look forwarded to their expanded efforts."
"The gracious funding from the Government of Japan has allowed us to provide resources to coastal communities, local governments, First Nations and volunteer organizations and I thank them again for their generosity."
Jill Dwyer, manager, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup -
"Vancouver Aquarium and WWF are grateful to the B.C. Ministry of Environment for recognizing the efforts of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Our 20 years of experience recruiting and training volunteers ensures a co-ordinated and effective cleanup effort."
"This generous donation from the Government of Japan will allow us to expand the Shoreline Cleanup program along the west coast of British Columbia and assist local communities in need of support."
- The tsunami washed an estimated five million tonnes of debris into the sea. An estimated 70% sank off the coast of Japan, leaving approximately 1.5 million tonnes floating in the Pacific Ocean.
- Since leaving the coast of Japan, the debris has been widely dispersed by ocean currents and winds. Some of it continues to sink or be trapped in the garbage gyres.
- To date, B.C. has seen less debris than originally anticipated.
- If a person sees something on the beach that appears to be a source of pollution or hazardous material, they should contact the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1 800 663-3456.
- The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. In 2013, over 58,500 Canadians participated in over 1,950 shoreline cleanups nationwide, including 27,500 B.C. volunteers at 880 shorelines.
- The first organized cleanups began in 1994 along the shoreline of Stanley Park in Vancouver, led by Vancouver Aquarium staff. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup became a national program in 2002.
BC Newsroom - Ministry of Environment: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/environment-1
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup: http://www.shorelinecleanup.ca/
Ministry of Environment