A student winces as he holds up a bag of dog waste, which was removed – along with other garbage and debris – from Crescent Beach, Surrey during the 2017 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Black Press file photo

Big Beach Cleanup looking for volunteers

Plastic is the most common ocean debris found on beaches

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is looking for volunteers to help clean up local beaches.

As part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, the DFO, along with the BC Shellfish Growers Association, the Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards and the World Wildlife Fund, is organizing cleanups along the Baynes Sound from Sept. 12 to Sept. 22.

Shelley Jepps, senior shellfish and freshwater aquaculture biologist with the DFO, says garbage in the ocean can have detrimental impacts to ecosystems. She adds most of the debris that is found along the shorelines is plastic from a wide range of sources.

“Just humans using the environment – we’re terrible. We discard our garbage all over the place,” she said. “Impacts can range from animals ingesting plastics, they can become entangled or entrapped and plastics can act as a vector to transport invasive aquatic species as can all marine debris.

“But it’s not just a marine mammal issue, it’s not just a fish issue, it impacts humans as well. We’re finding out more and more about how the plastics get in the organisms that we eat, but it also just [impacts] our enjoyment of the environment.”

Chris Marrie, aquaculture support biologist with the DFO, says volunteers should be prepared for the weather.

“This event is going to be rain or shine. They should dress with good sturdy footwear – rubber boots if it’s wet – but we don’t expect anybody to actually go into the ocean. Everything’s going to be washed up above the high tide line.”

He adds that gloves will be provided for those who need them.

Volunteers will be assigned to different sections of the beach and Marrie says each section typically takes an hour or two to clean.

There are five different cleanups scheduled in the Baynes Sound:

  • Fanny Bay, Sept. 14 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Gartley Point, Royston, Sept. 15 at 12:30 a.m.
  • Union Bay, Sept. 19 at 12 p.m.
  • Buckley Bay, Sept. 21 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Deep Bay, Sept. 22 at 9:30 a.m.

To sign up for the cleanup, email Shellfish.Aquaculture@dfo-mpo.g.ca or call 250-850-9475.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2NELApZ

Just Posted

Film documents transformation of snowboarders, surfers

Former professional athletes forged deep ties with communities

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Transitioning back into the world

Courtenay man had been living outdoors before starting Sally Ann program

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read