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

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

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

Just Posted

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have teamed up with the WCGH Foundation in the past to deliver stuffed animals to patients at the hospital. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Alberni Valley Bulldogs hope to score large donation for West Coast General Hospital

Challenge is part of a league-wide initiative to help give back to teams’ communities

A Port Alberni RCMP car blocks access to Anderson Avenue at Burde Street. (RCMP PHOTO)
Replica firearm prompts police incident in Port Alberni

RCMP had blocked off a neighbourhood while searching for ‘man with a gun’

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College to host practical nursing info session

10 seats are open in the Port Alberni region for practical nursing program

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP locate driver and vehicle, but are asking for video footage

Students from AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni write anti-bullying messages and draw colourful chalk art around their school for national anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY LISA ARBANAS)
Chalk art brightens public walkway on Pink Shirt Day

Students from AW Neill Elementary in Port Alberni write messages of hope

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels after found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired B.C. teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ in Metchosin

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read