In September 2020 Rugged Coast teamed up with Parley for the Oceans and BC Marine Trails to venture up the the north end of Nootka Island off the west coast of Vancouver Island to tackle some areas we knew to be in need of a good cleaning.
This journey was the first full scale adventure with our new vessel The Trash Craft, which turned out to be just what we needed in order to get into these remote waters and safely remove a literal boat load of marine debris. We managed to remove approximately 720kg of trash in just 3 days. Unfortunately the amount of debris found was closer to the 1500kg mark, we were forced to make some decisions as to what would have to be left behind on this trip.
As the video states, we focused on the large pieces of foam we pulled from the beaches. These foam blocks are made up of millions of tiny foam beads, which are broken apart in our rough waters. When the beads are let go into the environment they are either broken down into micro and nano particulates which end up eaten by the filter feeders of our coast (mussels, clams, oysters, etc..) or eaten directly by larger animals. Mistaken as fish eggs, these larger animals ingest the beads and are left with a bloodstream full of petrochemicals. Needless to say, these foam blocks are one of the worst polluters we find out there.
Aside from the foam blocks we found hundreds of plastic fishing floats, water barrels, miles of old nylon rope, pieces of old vessels, domestic garbage and more small broken down pieces of foam and plastic than we could count. The pieces we chose to leave behind were left out fo the inter-tidal area and as safe from the winds as we could manage to ensure they do not end up back into the eco-systems. The piles will be retrieved via helicopter or boat at the first chance we have.
The support and collaboration with Parley and BC Marine Trails was crucial in the success of this mission and we thank you deeply for your ongoing encouragement.