Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)

It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

Vancouver resident Chloé Dubois, co-founder of Ocean Legacy Foundation, is calling upon British Columbians who want to help save the ocean and its inhabitants this Earth Day.

She’s created a free online curriculum from eight years’ worth of fieldwork removing industrial and everyday waste pollution from the province’s shoreline.

“We’re at a precipice right now – in our province, we are producing more plastic than we can capture. If business continues as usual, our oceans will be polluted to the point of non-repair.”

“We have the ability to change the course of our oceans, so they can be able to continue to support life,” Dubois said.

Ocean Legacy Foundation’s launch of E.P.I.C. Academy will instruct people of all ages on plastic pollution and how it can be prevented or reduced.

It’s a plastic pollution emergency response program that incorporates a four-pillar hands-on approach: education, policy, infrastructure and cleanup.

The online course will educate learners on the oil and shale production, or the plastics industry – which is looking to double within the next decade.

“What that’s going to do is produce more plastic waste than we have the infrastructure to capture and process,” Dubois said.

“Without intervention, global ocean plastics are expected to double by 2035. If practices remain unchanged there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050.”

READ MORE: The race is on in B.C. to ban single-use plastics

The 10-lesson platform has been more than a year in the making, by OLF, which has removed approximately 85,000 kilograms of plastic from 146 kilometers of shoreline.

E.P.I.C. outlines how plastic pollution damages marine habitats and “suffocates and entangles” wildlife including seals and birds.

OLP is advocating for companies to redesign products or the government to create the infrastructure that can recirculate single-use plastics back into use.

On the east coast of Vancouver Island, Dubois said cleanup teams have witnessed 80 per cent of shoreline pollution caused by styrofoam breaking down and debris spreading.

“We’ve also noticed a lot of industrial waste, including oyster baskets and netting,” she said.

On the west coast, Dubois said it’s been a majority of international industry waste from Russia, China, and Japan transported by ocean currents.

“We live in such a beautiful pristine environment,” she said, but once the plastics do get into the environment they damage and alter the habitat.

“If you want to do something about it, we’ve created E.P.I.C. as a tool.”

The curriculum is available in French, Spanish, and English. Each of the lessons takes 90 minutes to complete.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Climate crisisEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bears are back, and so is WildSafeBC

Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways

Bella Coola’s new WildSafeBC co-ordinator, Rae Kokeš, has spent the last 10 years in Africa working in lion, human, conflict, and is a wildlife biologist by trade. (Photo submitted)
From the savannas of Africa to the Bella Coola Valley

New Wildsafe BC coordinator ready to tackle wildlife conflict

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

This will be the second year the Bella Coola Valley Rodeo won’t take place due to the pandemic. (Michael Wigle file photo)
Bella Coola Valley Rodeo cancelled for 2021

Club organizers say next year’s rodeo will be bigger and better than ever

Cameron Lang, (left) poses with his brothers Casey Lang and Colton Lang and their father Scotty Lang while volunteering at 100 Mile’s first Heavy Metal Rocks program in 2019. (Photo submitted)
Heavy Metal Rocks prepares alumni for professional world

Casey Lang got a new perspective from the class

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read