VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – The BC Shellfish Grower’s Association wants the public to know they’re doing their part to keep shorelines clean.

A clean up along Baynes Sound took place earlier this month. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Shellfish Grower’s Association (BCSGA) and the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards spearheaded the clean up.

“This is the second year that we have collaborated on the big beach clean up efforts in Baynes Sound. We were also out in April cleaning in Baynes Sound,” said Darlene Winterburn, the BCSGA’s Executive Director.

“There are other efforts that happened around the province – Lund, Quadra (Island), a lot of other areas also have formal clean ups a couple times a year. On top of that, the majority of our farmers are out and doing regular clean ups as part of their regular efforts.”

Winterburn said when it comes to deciding where exactly to clean; a lot of it comes down to “organized efforts”.

“Some of these efforts have been very longstanding in nature. We also have established an industry and government working group that’s specific to debris,” she said.

“That collaborative group is working to find new initiatives on how we can get out there, educate and clean up and basically do what we can to protect our marine environments.”

She said the working group meets every six to eight weeks.

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The Baynes Sound clean up is an annual effort. The group also holds an Earth Day clean up, as well as other initiatives, including getting farmers to clean not just their farms, but also their warehouses and to bring in plastics.

“We’re really excited that this year we are working with Ocean Legacy, and doing what we can to make sure that anything and everything that’s recyclable is making its way to them to be turned into fuel,” Winterburn said.

She noted that one of the groups they are working with is the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards.

“The big beach clean up started last year as a collaboration where we were aligning with the Association and this year, we ran concurrent to them,” she said.

“We have a number of farmers that are out helping them get rid of vessels and old buildings and whatnot that squatters might have left on there, as well as accessing some of the more remote areas of the Island to get the debris off island and to recycling wherever we can.”