A massive cleanup is set to clear roughly 400 kilometres of West Coast shoreline. (Coastal Restoration Society Facebook page photo)

A massive cleanup is set to clear roughly 400 kilometres of West Coast shoreline. (Coastal Restoration Society Facebook page photo)

Nine derelict vessels to be removed from Ucluelet Inlet as part of $2.5M cleanup

Coastal Restoration Society receives $2.5 million from B.C.’s Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative

A massive shoreline cleanup is coming to the West Coast.

The Coastal Restoration Society has received $2.5 million from the provincial government’s Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund to tackle debris strewn across roughly 400 kilometres of shoreline, including the removal of nine derelict vessels from Ucluelet Inlet.

“Keeping our coastline clean is a priority not only for those of us fortunate enough to live here, but for all British Columbians,” said Mid Island-Pacific Rim NDP MLA Josie Osborne. “I’m thrilled to see another project coming to the West Coast of Vancouver Island that does just that, and that also provides jobs for our region that people can feel good about.”

People who live on the West Coast care passionately about the ocean and our local beaches. So many good people have…

Posted by Josie Osborne on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Coastal Restoration Society’s $2.5 million project is part of a $9.5 million investment through the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative announced by the province on April 28.

“We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia, through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy,” Coastal Restoration Society director Andrea McQuade told the Westerly News.

The society’s executive director Josh Temple explained that the $2.5 million project is a collaboration between a variety of organizations and First Nations and will span from Brooke’s Peninsula to Sooke.

“It just pulls everybody together in a meaningful way on one larger project nested within the Clean Coast, Clean Waters overall initiative,” Temple told the Westerly. “We are deeply grateful to all of our host First Nations and partnership organizations that are participating in this overall project.”

He suggested the massive cleanup effort is “a first of its kind in the world” and will set the bar for global marine rehabilitation.

“Not only are we tackling this right here in our own backyard, but we’re setting an example for the rest of the world to follow…This is really the largest scale effort in history. We hope that by addressing these issues at the scope and scale that they truly require through the CCCW fund and phase one of this project, we’ll be setting a precedent for this type of meaningful contribution,” he said. “Marine debris, ocean plastics, derelict vessels and all of these types of pollutants that find their way into the marine environment is an issue here at home at the local level, but it’s an exponentially growing issue at the global level as well.”

He said the project will kick off with the removal of nine derelict vessels from the Ucluelet Inlet beginning May 18 in partnership with the Ucluelet First Nation.

“Derelict vessels are significant contributors to marine pollution in the form of microplastics and petroleum products. They create ghost fishing gear issues, they destroy critical nearshore habitat and juvenile wild salmon habitat as well as herring and other keystone species,” he said. “We have to deal with derelict vessels and their impact on the marine environment if we’re going to make meaningful progress in our collective goal of rehabilitating our marine environment.”

He suggested popular boating destinations like Ucluelet can become crowded graveyards of derelict vessels, running the gamut from abandoned commercial fishing vessels to pleasure crafts.

“The problem is, over the years, there hasn’t really been a concerted effort to tackle them, but we’ve certainly turned the page and now we have meaningful support from both the provincial and the federal government to start tackling these issues on the scale and scope that they require,” he said.

Following the launch of the derelict vessel removal project, cleanups are scheduled to begin in Hesquiaht First Nation territory and T’Sou-ke First Nation territory with other projects cascading through the spring, summer and fall months.

“We look forward to working with the Coastal Restoration Society and Surfrider Pacific Rim, for the partnered removal of marine debris and providing environmental opportunities for the citizens of Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, and for our neighbouring nations,” said Ucluelet First Nation President Charles McCarthy. “The marine ecosystem is a vital source for our culture, sustains our livelihood, and home. Kleco, kleco.”

Anyone interested in getting involved or learning more about the project is encouraged to reach out through the society’s website at coastrestore.com or send an email to info@coastrestore.com.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Invasive green crabs spark massive trapping project near Tofino

READ MORE: Dismal returns sound alarm over salmon crisis in Tofino and Ucluelet

READ MORE: Tofino locals organize massive cleanup of Clayoquot Sound

EnvironmentProvincial GovernmentTofino,ucluelet

Just Posted

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read