Volunteers carry a washed up dock and other garbage from the beach clean up in Parksville in support of World Oceans Day. Roughly 40 people came out to the clean up that was followed by a discussion with Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson and a number of stakeholders throughout Vancouver Island and the mainland. — Lauren Collins photo

Vancouver Island ‘ground zero’ for ocean plastics issue: Courtenay-Alberni MP

Gord Johns hosts World Oceans Day event in Parksville

The Courtenay-Alberni MP says Vancouver Island is ‘ground zero’ of the ocean plastics crisis.

MP Gord Johns hosted a World Oceans Day at Parksville Community Park beach Friday (June 8) with a theme of issues surrounding ocean plastics. Roughly 40 people turned out for a beach clean up that was followed by a discussion with stakeholders and volunteers.

The discussion included Johns, Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson who spoke briefly on her abandoned vessels bill, members of Ocean Legacy, Communities Protecting our Coast, Tbuck Suzuki, Calyoquot Cleanup, Surfrider Foundation Canada, West Coast Aquatic, Denman Island Marine Stewards, Ucluelet Aquarium and Vancouver Aquarium.

While the beach clean up turned up a slection of garbage such as single-use plastics, styrofoam, cigarette butts and more, Johns said the Parksville beach wasn’t as bad as some others he’s seen.

“This beach is pretty much clean because of the stewardship of the community,” Johns said.

But he said what was found could have been prevented.

The theme for the Parksville World Oceans Day event was ocean plastics and the leadership taking place on Vancouver Island to address those issues.

“We know how serious it is here on Vancouver Island, especially on the west coast of the Island. It’s mind-boggling when you see the amount of plastics that’s on our beaches.”

While a lot of discussions regarding ocean plastics and marine debris are taking place on the Island, Johns said it’s being noticed elsewhere such as Ottawa and it will be part of the discussions at the G7 meeting. He also said the Regional District of Nanaimo’s marine litter resolution “passed at almost 95 per cent support” at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference June 1-3 in Halifax.

RELATED: FCM to bring RDN’s marine litter resolution out nationally

“That motion mirrors our (national ocean plastics) motion, so it shows again — just like the Silver King — local government with federal leaders, Vancouver Islanders standing in solidarity, saying ‘This is important,’” said Johns, referring to the previous derelict vessels issue in Deep Bay, specifically the 100-foot Silver King.

RELATED: Shellfish operations in jeopardy: two derelict boats sink in Deep Bay

Send story tips: lauren.collins@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Port McNeill Cannabis Committee stumbles out of the gate

ā€œIā€™m worried we could just be all over the map and I need to see a plan.ā€

Port Alice’s new RCMP officers going through clearance process

The medical process can take several months to complete as there are several steps involved.

East Zeballos placed under evacuation alert as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

BC Wildfire Service says rolling debris on steep terrain poses danger to firefighters

First responders, police march in funeral procession for Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at mill on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday at Harmac Pacific

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Most Read