Province to fund cleanup of 1,000 km of B.C. coastline

The province has committed $3.6 million to clean more than 1,000 kilometres of B.C. shoreline, while employing tourism industry workers, youth, and Indigenous peoples.

Three organizations will split the funding, which will see tonnes of ocean trash and debris removed from areas including Haida Gwaii, the Discovery Islands and parts of Vancouver Island.

In total, the three projects will create 240 jobs, 163 of which have been earmarked for youth, according to the province.

"After a very tenuous year for tourism, we are very grateful to be able to offer this additional work to our staff including many local youth, as well as their community members and local businesses who will be assisting with the project," said Rick Snowdon, co-owner of Spirit of the West Adventures in Heriot Bay, B.C.

"It is a win, win, win, the beaches get cleaned up, folks get back to work and everyone can feel good about their contribution to this project," he said.

Funding for the shore cleanups comes from the B.C. "Clean Coast, Clean Waters" initiative, which launched in 2020 and continued in 2021.

Since the initiative began, roughly 550 tonnes of ocean debris have been removed from B.C.'s shorelines. The debris included plastics, abandoned fishing gear and polystyrene foam.

The three organizations receiving the funding are: the Misty Isles Economic Development Society ($2.3 million), the Campbell River Association of Tour Operators ($767,000), and the Spirit of the West Adventures ($563,000).