At a meeting in early December 2017, members of the North Vancouver Island (NVI) Marine Plan Advisory Committee heard a good news story about the collaborative effort of 10 local organizations to remove 600 cubic yards of debris from Frederick Arm, near Stuart Island northwest of Campbell River.
Strathcona Regional District Area C Director Jim Abram explained that, several years ago, a floating restaurant and docks network tethered to the shoreline at Frederick Arm was abandoned by its owners. The structures fell apart, leaving piles of debris on the beach and in the water.
The Stuart Island Community Association had been monitoring the situation and decided to take action by contacting their regional director with a request that the debris be removed. Director Abram worked with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to confirm that the site was abandoned and constituted a trespass on Crown land. Rupert Gale of the Ritchie Foundation then stepped in to engage companies and organizations to donate their services for a collaborative cleanup effort. The cleanup was successfully conducted Oct. 10-12, 2017, with the roles played by the different companies and organizations outlined as follows:
- Project initiated by Director Abram of the Strathcona Regional Districtand Stuart Island Community Association
- Ritchie Foundation helped to managethe project and provided labour and general support
- C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Compliance and Enforcement Branch provided legal and government oversight and funding
- Seymour Pacific Developments provided equipment and labour
- Progressive Waste Solutions provided the waste containers
- Marine Link Transportation barged and offloaded the collected debris
- Campbell River Marine Terminal waived the terminal fee at the request of Director Abram
- Pacific Wood Waste trucked debris to the landfill and recycling centre
- Campbell River Waste Management Centre waived the landfill fee through the efforts of Director Abram and the Comox Valley Regional District
Director Abram said “I am extremely pleased at the level of support that we received from all parties. This avoided serious degradation to our marine environment that we are all working so hard to protect through the planning processes we are involved in. I have always operated as the regional director on the assumption that local government in collaboration with communities, business and other levels of government can accomplish just about anything at the lowest possible price with the absolute best result. This exercise is a perfect example of that philosophy working!”
John Bones, Nanwakolas Council co-lead for the MaPP NVI Plan, stated, “This project is a fantastic example of government, organizations and the private sector working together to benefit the marine environment. To me, it demonstrates the power of utilizing local knowledge and skills to address issues that might otherwise have been overlooked. I hope this inspires others to greater collaborative solutions to local marine environmental issues.”
Andy Witt, B.C. government MaPP co-lead for NVI, added, “Director Abram is to be commended for this successful operation. It demonstrates the power of collaboration and co-operation at a local level and the resources that can be marshalled by provincial and local governments, concerned citizens, and businesses. It also provides a useful ‘how to’ example for the future.”More News »