Parks Canada staffer Pete Clarkson and Surfrider beach clean coordinator Sarah Greenwood check out a broken up shipping container that crashed on the George Fraser Islands. (Photo - Alan Hall)

Surfrider Pacific Rim ready for more Hanjin clean ups

“It’s an exciting movement for everyone.”

Surfrider Pacific Rim is singing the praises of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and champing at the bit to clear more debris from local shores.

The Park Reserve recently received $72,000 from Korean shipping company Hanjin shipping after roughly 35 styrofoam insulated shipping containers spilled off one of the company’s vessels and crashed onto the Coast in November.

The West Coast’s local Surfrider chapter immediately organized cleanups of the shipping debris and, according to Surfrider Pacific Rim chair Michelle Hall, volunteers cleared roughly 950 kilograms of debris off local beaches in November.

To compensate their efforts, the Park Reserve announced Surfrider would receive about $15,000 worth of the Hanjin cleanup funding.

“It’s an exciting movement for everyone,” Hall told the Westerly News.

“Surfrider are very impressed with how our local Parks team have set the standard for successfully receiving compensation when it comes to ocean pollution…They went after Hanjin, got the cash, had to deal with internal politics, and fought it to ensure that the cash would be spent to clean up the remaining pieces even though they are outside of the Park.”

She said Surfrider enjoys working with, and learning from, the Park Reserve’s staff.

“They are so experienced in remote areas, especially when it comes to safety, wildlife and knowledge for the environment,” she said. “We are following their lead on the Hanjin cleanup plan.

“The plan will involve cutting up the huge pieces of containers, some 20 feet long, and get them ready to be long lined out of there by helicopter to a barge.”

Hall said removing styrofoam and other debris is vital to the health of local ecosystems.

“Styrofoam is one of the five top trash trends here on the Pacific Rim and is the most toxic and hardest to remove when it breaks down,” she said. “Getting debris off the beach and out of the ocean is so important for the health of the marine ecosystems, animals of the ocean and food security.”

Volunteers opportunities to help Surfrider’s efforts will abound over the summer with roughly 17 sites being targeted for cleanups, according to Hall.

“Cleanups are tangible and feel good to be involved in protecting what we love, but we find that most volunteers who join a cleanup always have so much more to give, wisdom, humour, fresh ideas, and become part of the Surfrider community,” she said.

“We are growing. I look around this community and see so many participants in some way, shape or form that are making change, inspiring change, and sharing that education with others.”

Anyone interested can attend Surfrider’s public meets, held on the first Wednesday of every month at the Tofino Brewery Company, or email volunteercoordinator@pacificrim.surfrider.org.

“There is a requirement list,” Hall said. “You should be strong, fit and responsible and, of course, have tons of stoke.”

Just Posted

Ucluelet talks pot shops

Two applications are being considered as cannabis retailers.

Ahousaht students kick off school year with inspirational field-trip

Maaqtusiis kicks off year with two-night stay at Cedar Coast Field Station on Vargas Island

Surf’s Up event in Tofino offers a wave of positivity for families living with autism

“There’s no other opportunity like this for kids like Rylan.”

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

Crew keeps worried mother at bay while rescuing entangled baby humpback near Ucluelet

“These animals are massive, they’re powerful and it really is dangerous.”

Shambala named best music festival in North America

Shambala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Two B.C. women selected to compete on ABC’s The Bachelor

Mykenna Dorn and Alexis Thind will compete for bachelor Peter Weber’s heart

Most Read