The B.C. government has announced three new projects aimed at cleaning up marine debris along the province’s shoreline.
The three projects will cover off over 1,000 km of B.C.’s shoreline, including more remote areas such as Haida Gwaii and the Discovery Islands.
A total of #3.6 million from the Clean Coast, Clean Waters (CCCW) initiative will be distributed to three organizations in order to spearhead the projects: Misty Isles Economic Development Society; Spirit of the West Adventures; and the Campbell River Association of Tour Operators.
With today’s announcement, the number of projects under the CCCW initiative increases to nine with a total investment of nearly $18 million.
The three new projects, in partnership with coastal Indigenous Nations, are expected to create 240 jobs across the Province, including 163 jobs for youth.
“The Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative has shown what can be accomplished when First Nations, local communities and businesses work together,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Creating jobs to remove marine debris and waste from our shoreline is a win-win situation that protects our environment and builds a cleaner, more circular economy for all British Columbians.”
Leigh Nelson, vice-president of Campbell River Association of Tour Operators, also points out that these projects will help tour companies stay afloat during the uncertainty that the pandemic has created.
“This is a worthwhile endeavour that will help keep struggling tour operators, their employees and a number of youths working during a time of uncertainty and reduced tourism revenues,” said Nelson. “When tourists do return, this initiative will ensure our beautiful B.C. coastline is clean and free from plastic pollution for our local wildlife, residents and tourists.”
According to the government, the CCCW initiative has removed more than 550 tonnes of fishing gear, plastics and polystyrene foam from B.C.’s beaches since so far.
This initiative is also part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response.