Since its inception, Surfrider Vancouver Island’s Combing the Coast program has been holding monthly beach cleanups at different locations around the South Island. In 2018 alone, our members and volunteers helped remove more than 7,000 pounds of garbage off of our local shorelines.
Beach cleanups are a fun and exciting way of getting volunteers and community members out to local beaches and participating in a meaningful activity. All the debris is sorted, recycled and disposed of properly.
Along with gathering the waste on a beach, a certain amount is measured and recorded. Through using a shoreline survey method developed by The National and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) in the United States, Surfrider VI is developing a valuable data set that can help identify some of the main types of pollution found on local beaches. This information is shared with stakeholders and is helpful when developing other campaigns and programs focused at pollution reduction.
Through a strong and consistent beach cleanup and data collection effort, our chapter hopes to develop a robust data-set that helps inform people about the types of marine debris and garbage found on local Vancouver Island beaches, while simultaneously cleaning them up. With this data, our chapter can approach local businesses, industry and decision-makers and find ways to reduce the use and consumption of products that find their way to our coastline.