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

The red rock garden in Williams Lake was filled with new rocks in recognition of the National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Red rocks left as reminder of missing and murdered local women in Williams Lake

May 5 marked the National Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Kari, a 12-year-old Belted Galloway, produced triplets Wednesday, April 27. Mother and babies are doing fine. (Kelly Sinoski photo -100 Mile Free Press).
Holy cow: triplets born in 100 Mile House

Linda and Don Savjord witnessed a rare experience last week at Bridge Creek Ranch.

Fireman’s Fairways between Chimney and Felker lakes is slated to open soon, following a clean up work bee this Sunday, May 9 starting at 10 a.m. (Photo submitted)
Cleanup slated for Sunday, May 9 at Fireman’s Fairways Golf Course

Fireman’s Fairway is an 11-hole, par 3 course, opened in 1994

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The White House says it is making plans to share up to 60 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 11,075 since the pandemic began

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

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

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read