From August 14th to 22nd, Surfrider Pacific Rim led an 8-day remote cleanup expedition in the Broken Group Islands in Barkley Sound. The 8 days was split into two trips of 4 days each, that had 7 volunteers on each trip. The trip was a huge success in the amount of beaches cleaned, the positive collaboration between all volunteers and partners, the adventures had, the data collected, the healthy food shared, and, of course, the plastic pollution removed from ecosystems.

We targeted the islands that would be the most heavily inundated with debris, and after 8 days, we were able to cover 11 islands: Wouwer Island, Cree Island, Effingham Island, Turner Island, Onion Island, Weibe Island, Dempster Island, Gibraltar Island, Keith Island, Clarke Island and Benson Island.

Details:
From August 14th to 22nd, Surfrider Pacific Rim led an 8-day remote cleanup expedition in the Broken Group Islands in Barkley Sound. The 8 days was split into two trips of 4 days each, that had 7 volunteers on each trip. The trip was a huge success in the amount of beaches cleaned, the positive collaboration between all volunteers and partners, the adventures had, the data collected, the healthy food shared, and, of course, the plastic pollution removed from ecosystems.

We targeted the islands that would be the most heavily inundated with debris, and after 8 days, we were able to cover 11 islands: Wouwer Island, Cree Island, Effingham Island, Turner Island, Onion Island, Weibe Island, Dempster Island, Gibraltar Island, Keith Island, Clarke Island and Benson Island.

 

Debris collected:

Total super sacs (1000 litres per sac): 45
Foam: 20 super sacs
Mixed plastic: 12 super sacs
Rope: 3 super sacs
Clear Plastic Bottles: 1128
Coloured Plastic Bottles: 230
Total Bottles: 1358
Buoys: 314
Barrels: 35
Tires: 7
Buckets: 7
Oyster Seed Tray Poles: 21
Oyster crates: 39.5
Single-use Plastics found: coffee cup lids, straws, bags, foam cups, foam containers, foam eggshell cartons, BOTTLES
Total weight: 3.5 tonnes

Total super sac volume: 45,000 litres or 45 cubic metres, equivalent to 14 cars worth of debris in volume.

We only landfilled 20 lbs of material, and 90% of this was comprised of soft plastics.

The estimated KM of coastline cleaned is 6 km, which is astonishing considering the mountain of plastic retrieved. The BC coastline is 25,725 km, and the Canadian coastline is 243,042 km. This begs the question:

how much debris still exists along the longest shoreline in the world? How much exists below the surface of the water?

 

Remote cleanups give us integral data for challenging the roots of plastic pollution so that one day we can make cleanups obsolete. One of these strategies includes sharing photos, stats, and recommendations for addressing plastic pollution with all levels government. With this in mind, we encourage all BC residents to fill out the provincial government’s CleanBC Plastics Action Survey using our survey guideline. Unless we collectively emphasize the urgency of this crisis and suggest comprehensive solutions, we risk having a provincial plastics plan that does not adequately address all facets of this problem. You can access the survey and guideline by visiting https://pacificrim.surfrider.org/programs/rise-above-plastics/

 

MASSIVE thanks to all of the partners and sponsors who made this successful expedition possible:

  • Tseshaht First Nation and the Beach Keepers
  • Patagonia Vancouver
  • Vancouver Foundation
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
  • Harbour Clearwater
  • Kingsley Trucking
  • Ocean Legacy Foundation
  • Boat Captain – Lyle Berzins
  • Kitchen Coordinators – Liz Coull and Zoe Jordan
  • All of the amazing volunteers: Marianne Paquette, Arya Touserkani, Liz Coull, Colleen Sedgwick, Art Skoda, Christine Morriss-Swift, Riley Richters, John Morris, Zoe Jordan, Nicole Holman, Dominic Beaulieu, Ian Cruickshank and Cody Joe!!