The beach clean-up blues

‘Marine debris’ is a posttsunami ‘tag’. In actuality,

‘marine debris’ is nothing more than basic ‘human stuff’ that has been ever increasing over the years.

Years ago, we would head out along the beaches, picking up things that had a certain ‘cachet’ to adorn a weekend makeshift fort. With a permanent move to the West Coast, ‘beach combing’ /foraging, has evolved to a new level.

I walk the beaches, three to four times a week, mostly in Pacific Rim National Park.

In the beginning, I was pulling various pieces of Styrofoam, plastics, rope, and other manmade items, above the high-tide line; thinking that they would be salvaged by the annual ‘clean-up’ program.

To my dismay, the garbage was still there, long after the ‘spring sweep’.

It has now been two years of picking up one to two garbage bags each time I go for my five kilometer -walk. On the weekends, my husband joins me and we average four to five bags. Sometimes, its Styrofoam skewered to an end of a stick, other times it is a water barrel that gets rolled to a safe pick up area.

There is a certain level of satisfaction, knowing that each chunk of plastic, bucket, rope, and foam bits is no longer part of the yearly garbage ‘ebb and flow’. I label all my bags with a Canada Flag.

Last year, it was a ‘Happy Face’. In most cases, the bags were hauled to designated ‘Marine Debris’ drop locations.

There are stretches of beach which are quite onerous to haul oversized items. In those instances, we made large piles and notified Parks Canada Administration.

The sad part, as alluded to earlier, the piles were overlooked.

One particular site was subject to a ‘winter storm’ which dislodged everything back into the ocean.

In the scheme of things, I am not looking for accolades. I did, however, approach the Park Administration with the details of where the various drop-off locations are.

In the same communication, I intimated that a ‘Yearly Family Park Pass’ would go a long way to recognizing the hours put into collecting garbage off the beaches.

To that end, I have been unsuccessful. I will not stop doing what I feel is important but a gesture, as simple as that, would be so easy.

I am not interested, in another media release, outlining the arduous efforts that Parks Canada had embarked on, to clean the beaches.

Just Posted

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation celebrates new water system

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna cuts cedar ribbon at Ty-Histanis event.

Reflecting Spirit offers tapestry of West Coast stories

Gallery showcases Tofino and Ucluelet artists.

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark criticizes feds for buying pipeline

The $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline second worst decision, she said

New B.C. Hydro electric car chargers launch on Vancouver Island

Fast-chargers to reduce ‘range anxiety’ for B.C. electric car drivers

‘Takes more courage to fail’: B.C. ultra-marathon swimmer reflects on cancelled try at record

Susan Simmons halted her swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back because of hypothermia

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

$21.5 million medical pot plant to be built in B.C.

The facility is to be built in Princeton

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Feds agree to look at easing jury secrecy as part of review

At issue is a law that forbids jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Most Read