Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Alberni Climate Action, a Port Alberni-based community group formed to work on local climate crisis issues, has established for 2021 a small scholarship with North Island College (NIC) for students who are full time.

The scholarship recognizes the role that education will play in meeting the challenge to reducing climate changing emissions. The recipient will have led or participated in projects or initiatives that better the environment, reduce carbon emissions or create positive change in addressing the climate crisis.

“It is clearly today’s high school and post secondary students who will have the burden of living in a very different world, unless some significant steps are made before 2030 to address the accelerating climate crisis,” said Keith Wyton of Alberni Climate Action. Wyton is a longtime environmental activist who has devoted time and research to forestry and watershed protection issues.

The hope is that a student attending NIC’s Alberni campus receives the $550 scholarship, however it is open to all qualifying students enrolled full time in the Vancouver Island college, volunteer Robert Gunn said. Students need to apply for the scholarship through the college.

The other main activity being worked on by Alberni Climate Action is a response to the government requirement that plans for housing and climate action be included in Official Community Plans (OCP). Ongoing discussions are being held with the City of Port Alberni on these two important items, with a view to ensuring that the city’s Climate Action Plan takes into account recent estimations of the likely impacts of sea level and temperature rise, changes in precipitation and temperature patterns.

“City staff are well aware of the challenges we will face as a community as the climate changes, and the need to build these into their planning,” said volunteer Gail Morton, who is leading the group’s work with the city.

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