Haida Gwaii gets funds

Funds awarded to Haida Gwaii to establish a tsunami debris management and cleanup program.

HAIDA GWAII – A partnership of local governments and First Nations has been awarded $139,000 over two years to establish a tsunami debris management and cleanup program on Haida Gwaii.

The successful proposal was made by the Haida Gwaii Tsunami Debris Committee (HGTDC) comprising the communities of Queen Charlotte, Skidegate, Old Masset, Masset and Port Clements.

The committee also works with the following:

•     BC Parks;

• Gwaii Haanas National Park;

• Haida Fisheries Program;

• Haida Gwaii Marine Stewardship Group;

•   School District 50; and,

• Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District.

The HGTDC is a locally formed working group that has taken an active role since early 2012 in addressing tsunami debris arriving on the shores of Haida Gwaii.

The funds will be used to establish at least four accessible and four remote access cleanup sites, promote education and volunteer cleanup activities, monitor tsunami debris accumulation and develop a protocol for managing the debris. Reusing and recycling will be emphasized over disposal. The Village of Queen Charlotte will administer the award on behalf of the committee.

The funding is available through the one-time grant the Government of Japan presented to the Government of Canada earlier this year, for approximately $1 million, to help cleanup tsunami debris resulting from the tragic 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

Funding will be available for the next two fiscal years to help with shoreline cleanup efforts and disposal of debris. Regional, collaborative applications with affected coastal First Nations and local governments are encouraged. More information on the application process can be found at: www.tsunamidebrisbc.ca

All funding decisions will be made by the federal-provincial Tsunami Debris Coordinating Committee (TDCC).

“The spirit of volunteerism on Haida Gwaii is amazing and I look forward to seeing these funds go to good use by expanding the islands’ collective effort in cleaning up tsunami debris,” said Mary Polack, Minister of the Environment.