Banner Photo: Steller sea lions. (Credit: Ocean Wise)

New 2020 Article

2020 Rating

2020 Rationale

Dioxin and furan concentrations are high, especially in mussels, when compared with other areas along the B.C. Coast. Metals continue to be detected in sediments, sometimes above sediment quality guidelines.

The following is an excerpt from the full updated article. Download the full 2020 article for all content and references.

Plastics: an ubiquitous ocean threat

Author: Amber Dearden, Research Assistant, Ocean Watch, Ocean Wise Research Institute
Reviewers: Rhiannon Moore, MSc Researcher Plastics Lab, Ocean Wise Research Institute

Tanya Otero, Shoreline Cleanup Manager

Anna Posacka, Manager, Plastics Lab, Ocean Wise Research Institute

Peter Ross, VP Research, Ocean Wise Research Institute

Excerpt from New 2020 article

Plastic pollution in the marine environment is a universal issue. Globally, more than 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually, and demand is still growing. Global plastic production doubles every decade.

Read the full article to see what else is happening.

Background: View looking towards the mouth of Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. (Credit: Tracey Saxby, Visual Science)

What can you do?

A detailed overview of recommended actions relating to climate change is included in The path to zero carbon municipalities. In some cases, no progress was identified on previous recommended actions; these remain listed below.

action-individual Individual and Organization Actions:

    • Take the Ocean Wise plastic wise challenge
    • Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper.
    • Choose more sustainable toiletries and personal hygiene products, e.g., use silk dental floss, plastic free shampoo and conditioner bars, look for wooden handles on razors and toothbrushes and avoid disposables, choose menstrual cups or reusable period underwear instead of disposable feminine hygiene products.
    • Always be plastic-prepared: keep an extra “plastic free” kit at work or in your vehicle, e.g., reusable cutlery, straw, water bottle, coffee cup, shopping bag, Tupperware/container for leftovers/takeout. 
    • Bring your own container for take-out leftovers. Refill containers at bulk food stores or bulk sections in your grocery store. 
    • Support initiatives to reduce single-use plastic items like bags, cutlery, cups and fast food containers.
    • Reduce your microfiber footprint:
      • Use fixtures for washing machines to trap microfibres, e.g., Fitrol, Lint Luv-r
      • Use a laundry ball or a washing bag to catch fibres, e.g., Cora Ball , Guppyfriend
      • Avoid fast fashion – purchase garments that last and repair
      • Wash less often
      • Do a full load of laundry, and wash on cold to reduce fibre shedding from clothing.
      • Pick up litter, lead or join a shoreline cleanup to prevent debris from re-entering the ocean, and submit your data to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup –
    • Pick up litter, lead or join a shoreline cleanup to prevent debris from re-entering the ocean, and submit your data to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup –
    • Call the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre if you see a marine mammal in distress/entangled – 604-258-SEAL (7325).
    • Become a “Steward of the Strait” 
    • If you are a diver, help collect data. See what these groups are doing in your area:

action-governmentGovernment Action and Policy:

    • Fund working towards a circular economy for plastics: design products that are recyclable, reusable and recoverable.
    • Fund working towards solutions to single-use plastics such as sustainable alternatives to feminine hygiene products, plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks; in addition to incentives, consumption reduction targets, and waste management.
    • Revise taxes on reusable feminine hygiene products.
    •  Enact legislation to put the responsibility of cleanup on the producers of plastics (extended producer responsibility) and incentivize the use of recycled plastics or natural materials.
    • Fund actions towards ghost gear removal, and research toward solving the ghost gear problem.
Visit our sites: