Funding for Tofino-based environmental group Clayoquot CleanUp has received a big boost with a $100,000 donation from tourism operator Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.
First championed by Clayoquot Wilderness Resort Founder Rick Genovese and sustained by his family and resort team, the donation marks a significant turning point in Clayoquot CleanUp’s coastal restoration work in British Columbia.
In their first year of operation, Clayoquot CleanUp has successfully rehabilitated more than 40 kilometres of coastline and removed more than 50,000 kilograms of ocean plastics and marine debris from the shores of Vancouver Island. Their work continues in 2018 with planned cleanups throughout Clayoquot Sound to combat plastic pollutants.
To date Clayoquot CleanUp has been funded entirely by community members and private business; the donation by Clayoquot Wilderness Resort will partially serve to fill the gap between local fundraising efforts and budget requirements. Donations of this size draw attention to the community that keeps Clayoquot CleanUp running, and simultaneously points to a lack of industry and government responsibility.
Clayoquot CleanUp Founder Capt. Josh Temple stressed the significance of this private donation.
“Thankfully we have organizations like Clayoquot Wilderness Resort willing to step in and make significant commitments to combating the ocean plastics problem,” he said. “I hope that this donation serves as a catalyst for the Canadian government to finally address this growing crisis and allocate funding to organizations like Clayoquot CleanUp who are on the front-lines of the fight against ocean plastics and marine debris in British Columbia.”
Bradley Goian and Antonella Puglisi, general managers of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, hope the donation will not only help with operational costs but spur a greater conversation about finding solutions to protect the coastal environment.
“As a resort that is visited by over 1,000 international travellers each season and employs 100 international staff,” said Puglisi, “we feel we are in a position to raise awareness, lead by example and make a difference.”
Goian added: “The Genovese family is inspired by Clayoquot CleanUp’s efforts to battle this massive issue, and our team is proud to support the environment and community in any way we can.”