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

FOLLOW-UP: Shelley Downey speaks on her Conservative candidacy

“I anticipate requesting a leave of absence from Port McNeill council,” Downey said.

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

Shoebox Project: Local women in need to enjoy shoebox gifts

This year over 500 gift filled Shoeboxes were delivered in Campbell River and the North Island.

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read