George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (

Media Contacts

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Media Relations
250 953-3834

Maureen Gordon

Small Ship Tour Operators Association – Wilderness Tourism Association
250 386-7245

Andrea McQuade

Coastal Restoration Society
250 266-1540

Kathi Springer

Songhees Development Corporation
250 888-8767

Chloé Dubois

Ocean Legacy Foundation
250 538-2328


Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund

The Government of B.C. invited applications from coastal Indigenous Nations, local governments, non-profits and other groups in B.C. that have expertise in shoreline and marine debris cleanup or removal of derelict vessels.

The new funding follows two previous Clean Coast, Clean Waters projects announced in August 2020:

  • The Small Ship Tour Operators Association received $3.5 million for marine debris clean-up expeditions around B.C.’s central coast. A final report indicated the project created 180 jobs for small ship crew members and local communities and resulted in 127 tonnes of debris removed from 540 kilometres of shoreline in 42 days.
  • The Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative received $1.33 million to plan and implement shoreline clean-up projects in their communities, identify and prioritize food gathering areas for clean up and provide training and jobs to community members, including youth. Work is anticipated to begin in spring 2021 and be completed by June 30, 2021, with nine communities involved, 50 paid workers trained and 200 kilometres of shoreline inspected and/or cleaned.

Globally, it has been estimated that the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic waste enters the ocean every minute, totalling eight million tonnes every year.

Media Contacts

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Media Relations
250 953-3834
2021 Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund projects

The following projects will receive funds from the Clean Coast, Clean Waters (CCCW) program:

Small Ship Tour Operators Association (SSTOA) – Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA)

The SSTOA is an association of tour boat operators that, responding to the downturn in tourism due to COVID-19, partnered with the WTA to turn their resources and skills to cleaning B.C.’s remote shorelines.

Last summer, the SSTOA undertook the biggest shoreline cleanup in B.C.’s history. This year’s project will see the ships travel to the outer coast of the Great Bear Rainforest and partner with four Indigenous Nations to clean more than 400 kilometres of shoreline.

“Everyone in the SSTOA and WTA involved in the 2020 project were so proud of the contribution they were able to make with the marine debris removal initiative,” said Scott Benton, executive director, WTA. “You saw the spark in people’s eyes, not only because it provided employment in a really tough year, but because we got to actively protect our beautiful coast and make it better. We are grateful to the CCCW initiative to be able to go out and finish the job this year.”

Shoreline cleanup: $3.5 million

Coastal Restoration Society (CRS)

CRS supports resource management and environmental stewardship goals of First Nations, provincial and federal governments. Its services include marine-industrial project development and implementation, scientific monitoring and assessment, aquatic invasive species management and control, and climate change mitigation in the marine environment.

The CRS project will aim to address shoreline debris and derelict vessels on the west coast of Vancouver Island, partnering with 10 Indigenous Nations to clean 200 to 400 kilometres of shoreline and remove nine derelict vessels.

“On behalf of CRS and all of our partners, we are grateful for the funding to move forward on these timely and necessary projects to support the health of the shorelines and coastal livelihoods,” said Josh Temple, executive director, Coastal Restoration Society. “We’re excited to once again be working with host First Nation communities and know that these partnerships are at the heart of all successful projects.”

Shoreline cleanup: $2.1 million
Derelict vessels: $0.4 million

Songhees Development Corporation

The Songhees Nation is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen-speaking people. The Songhees Development Corporation promotes business ventures and income generation in alignment with the Nation’s values and priorities.

The project will focus on removing 100 derelict vessels on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

“Songhees Nation is thrilled the Salish Sea Indigenous Marine Stewardship project has been funded. In collaboration with south island First Nations, our project will see 100 abandoned boats removed from the Salish Sea,” said Christina Clarke, CEO, Songhees Development Corporation. “Our project recognizes Indigenous leadership in environmental stewardship, and our training program will contribute to Indigenous workforce development and long-term employment opportunities in the emerging ‘blue economy.’”

Derelict vessels: $2 million

Ocean Legacy Foundation

Ocean Legacy Foundation (OLF) is a Canadian non-profit organization that develops and implements worldwide plastic pollution emergency response programs, with the goal to end oceanic plastic pollution. OLF combines sustainable technologies, education and skills training to convert plastic pollution into economic value, while providing local communities with the tools they need to prevent plastic pollution and protect their local environment. OLF is tackling plastic pollution using a solution-based platform called EPIC (education, policy, infrastructure and cleanup).

OLF’s CCCW project will focus in Desolation Sound and the central Salish Sea, partnering with three Indigenous Nations to clean 200 to 400 kilometres of shoreline and provide up to 354 jobs.

“CCCW is a historical moment for our communities and environment not only in the Province of British Columbia, but has set a precedence for Canada,” said Chloé Dubois, co-founder and president, OLF. “Ocean Legacy is thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity to work with communities to build economic opportunities to create cleaner oceans and provide innovative recycling opportunities for ocean plastics.”

Shoreline cleanup: $1.5 million

Total funding: $9.5 million