The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) has been awarded $17,000 to clean up tsunami debris along the shoreline in the Tofino-Long Beach area.
The successful proposal made by the CBT, in partnership with the District of Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, will focus on collecting and removing debris from remote rocky areas. Funding will be used for a helicopter to help identify and access secluded debris along the shoreline.
Ongoing clean-up of more accessible beaches will continue and several collection events will be organized with the help of volunteers, the District of Tofino, and Parks Canada staff.
The CBT is a regional organization committed to providing funding and logistical support for research, education and training to promote conservation and sustainable development.
This announcement follows awards recently granted to the District of Ucluelet and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to expand their existing clean-up efforts of tsunami debris along the west coast of Vancouver Island.
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 $663,000 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 -
“I am proud to award this funding from the Government of Japan to the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust for their remarkable work along our coast. The clean-up efforts of volunteers and agency staff help raise awareness about the harmful effects debris and litter have on fragile aquatic ecosystems and people.”
Rebecca Hurwitz, managing director, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust -
“Our efforts in partnership with the District of Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will help the community of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve region support a healthy and diversified ecosystem. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Province of British Columbia and are thankful for the gracious donation by the Government of Japan.”
- 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 Clayoquot Biosphere Trust was established in 2000 with the designation of Clayoquot Sound as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- The regional organization works with all communities in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region including the Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Ucluelet and Toquaht First Nations and the Districts of Tofino and Ucluelet.
BC Newsroom - Ministry of Environment: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/environment-1
Ministry of Environment Communications