The Dock the Debris project was launched in November 2020 to reduce and address the impacts of single-use plastics, marine debris, micro and macro plastics in marina environments using Seabin technology and data collection research.
Even with waste collection and management systems in place, debris still ends up in marina waters through human activity in the harbour, the breaking down of non-encapsulated floating docks, and upstream sources.
The Dock the Debris project will work to install several Seabins in concentrated debris areas in North Saanich Marina over the coming years to capture marine litter. On November 17, 2020, we installed two Seabins in North Saanich Marina, one located in the North Dock wing and the other in the Blue Heron wing (see maps below).
Starting in 2021, we will be teaming up with student researchers from the University of Victoria to conduct bin audits every season to analyze and quantify the litter captured by the Seabins. This scientific research will help us create more awareness and education regarding localized plastic pollution on both a regional and national level and, with policy relevance, help us move towards a circular economy.
Dock the Debris is a project under our Rise Above Plastics program, which serves to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and advocate for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.
The Dock the Debris project was made possible by the Blue Friday initiative. See our Background section to learn more.
What are Seabins?
Seabins are 4ft x 2ft floating garbage bins that use a pump and filter catch bag made out of mesh to draw in any nearby debris on the surface of the water. In addition to vacuuming up solid debris, these bins contain oil-absorbent pads to clean up petroleum-based surface oils and detergents.
The bins can collect up to 3.9 kilograms of garbage per day, which equates to 1.4 tonnes per year! Once full, the debris is taken out to be properly disposed of so it no longer pollutes coastal ecosystems and the marine life that inhabit them!
Marinas, ports and yacht clubs provide the perfect locations for Seabin installations, as their controlled environments do not experience big open ocean swells or storms and the rising and falling tides often push the debris towards the shoreline where they are located.
To learn more about the Seabin, visit seabinproject.com.
Why North Saanich Marina?
North Saanich Marina is the largest saltwater marina in Canada that comprises three wings housing over 700 boats! Since 2016, the Oak Bay Marine Group that oversees North Saanich Marina has had their eye on the Seabin as a way to clean up plastic pollution and absorb petroleum-based surface oils in their marinas. In August of 2019, the North Saanich Marina was the first marina in British Columbia to install a Seabin, and the third Seabin installed in Canada!
North Saanich Marina marina is an advantageous location to establish our Dock the Debris project because of its experience using the Seabin technology and the need to install several more across its waters. Their first Seabin collects an average of 1.95 kilograms of debris per day depending on the tide level and is emptied twice a day. The debris types that have been collected include plastic bottles, plastic bags and small chunks of plastic from human activity in the harbour, styrofoam bits coming off of non-encapsulated floating docks, and oil spills carried in from derelict boats residing in the Blue Heron Basin.
For more information about the North Saanich Marina, visit http://northsaanichmarina.com.
For more information about the Oak Bay Marine Group, visit https://obmg.com.