Marine debris. (NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Project/contributed photo.)

Marine debris. (NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Project/contributed photo.)

B.C. funds new coastal cleanup projects to remove ocean plastic, derelict vessels

$3.8M in funds will create 440 jobs and clean up to 1,000 kilometres of shoreline

B.C. is investing $3.8 million that will fund projects to clean plastic pollution and marine debris from coastal waters.

Environment minister George Heyman said the funds will go toward multiple projects on Vancouver Island, the Sea-to-Sky region and Haida Gwaii.

“It’s great news for our coast. It’s great news for British Columbia. It’s great news for our environment,” Heyman said.

Projects will be run by the Coastal Restoration Society, the Ocean Legacy Foundation, and the Misty Isles Economic Development Society in partnership with the Haida Nation.

The initiatives will focus on cleaning up shorelines and removing derelict vessels from waterways. The work is anticipated to create 440 jobs and clean as much as 1,000 kilometres of shoreline.

Funding is part of the province’s Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative. Since 2020, the initiative has removed more than 1,000 tonnes of debris, including more than 250 tonnes of derelict vessels (86 vessels), which is equivalent to the weight of 300 orcas. An estimated 4,000 kilometers of shoreline have been cleaned and 65 per cent of the material has been recycled.

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