Aerial view of a ship full of trash on the ocean


Supporting BC’s most significant marine cleanup

Nov 9, 2021
Every year, approximately 8.8 million tonnes of marine debris consisting of industrial, residential, and single-use plastics enter our oceans and end up on British Columbia’s shorelines, threatening our fragile ecosystems and marine and land animals.
This year, the Province of BC’s
Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative
, which supports marine shoreline clean-up and derelict vessel removal in coastal communities within British Columbia, funded the largest-ever marine debris cleanup. The initiative ran for six weeks and removed over 425 tonnes of shoreline waste from three hundred kilometres of coastline.
This remarkable joint effort between the provincial government, the Small Ship Tour Operators Association (SSTOA), the Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA) and the Ocean Legacy Foundation employed 111 people in the tourism industry and 69 people in Indigenous coastal communities. Many of them would otherwise have found difficulty securing employment due to COVID-19’s impacts on the tourism industry. 
In support of the
Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative
, TELUS sponsored the Wilderness Tourism Association and the Small Ship Tour Operators Association on a 42-day excursion which collected more than 200 tonnes of marine debris along 300 kilometres of B.C.’s shoreline, with support from Wuikinuxv (Oweekano) Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo / Xai’xais Nation and Gitxaala Nation. 
TELUS’ contribution paid for the transportation and recycling of marine debris, enabling the team to remove significant debris along the coastline. With active support from the three First Nations whose territories the expeditions operated within, this initiative also employed 180 additional people, including individuals from Gitga’at, Gitxaala and Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nations, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At TELUS, we are committed to driving positive social outcomes and helping to ensure stronger and healthier communities, while caring for our environment

- Geoff Pegg, Director, TELUS Sustainability and Environment

The Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative aligns with TELUS’ long-standing commitment to building a better, more sustainable future. This commitment is outlined in our
2020 Sustainability Report
, alongside our ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality across our operations by 2030.

These projects were a success because of the commitment and collaboration between the funding and delivery partners and the desire to give back to the environment and communities. We want to recognize the funding partners who without whom this project would not have happened: The Province of BC who created the coastal clean-up program and funded the project delivery and TELUS who funded the recycling component of the project on the North Coast of BC.

- Scott Benton, Executive Director, Wilderness Tourism Association