Each year tonnes of plastics and debris rolls in from the Pacific Ocean onto the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. The amount of debris washing up onto the shores is astounding. In 2016, for example, 42 tonnes of plastics and debris was picked up by several conservation-minded organizations including the BC Marine Trails. Our volunteers travel hundreds of kilometres to north Vancouver Island and then travel down logging roads to launch their kayaks. They fill their holds with tools, camping equipment and tote bags and then launch at Side Bay or Gooding Cove to reach a six-kilometre remote stretch of beach named Restless Bight (see video) It's near Rowley Reefs Peninsula.
We've asked the federal government for financial assistance but they are still discussing the matter.
We've witnessed birds ingesting plastics and marine life entangled in the debris. We would like to remove the debris again this year before it washes out to sea in the next winter storm or breaks down into tiny pieces to be ingested by animals or sea life or impossible to separate from the sand and pebbles. We are one small solution: reducing the amount of plastic in the ocean and in the uplands area of the coast.
Note: Our clean up may also concentrate on nearby pocket beaches and areas. Some clean up is weather dependent.