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General · 4th May 2010
Ray Grigg
Just as last year, a light rain dampened the island for the morning of Quadra’s 13th annual Beach Clean-up. But the weather cleared, everyone’s enthusiasm remained resolute, and once again Islanders did a super job of scouring our beaches for the unwanted detritus that washes up on our shores. As usual, plastic was the most obvious culprit.

This year we collected a record amount of styrofoam (enough to fill almost two dump trucks), a huge assortment of tires (2.2 tonnes of them) and significantly increased amounts of miscellaneous material from the shellfish industry (at least enough to fill one truck). In all, we managed to rid our beaches of eight truck loads of garbage.

While we want to censure those who are responsible for littering our beaches with their junk — would the shellfish industry kindly get control of itself? — we also want to thank and congratulate everyone who contributed to the clean-up. We want to note the addition of Valdez and Copper Bluffs as contributors. And we want to note Quadra Loop and Francisco Point for their efforts, and the people who laboured for several day in advance of April 25th to pack garbage from remote locations such as the Kay Dubois and Haskin Farm Trails to pick up sites.

Over the years, this community effort has continued to grow in energy and support. For our 13th annual event, we had more garbage than we could load on available trucks. So a special thanks to Tim Richards and John Waibel of Spirit of the West for their saving rescue gesture to get this extra beach garbage off-island. Thanks as well to G. Roy Dahlnas Excavating for its big tandem vehicle. And more thanks to On-Track Excavating and Emcon, and for the two truck each that were supplied by Sorensen-MacDonald Enterprises and Hedefine Contracting. Thank, too, to those who supplied boats that brought garbage from remote beaches and to the many drivers who used their pick-up trucks to gather many loads from the drop-off sites around the island. All these trucks were crucial to the project’s success.

We must also thank B.C. Ferries for providing free passage for all the trucks taking the garbage to the landfill site in Campbell River, to the Strathcona Regional District for free tipping at the dump (in collaboration with the Manager of Solid Waste for the Comox Valley Regional District). And we must also thank BC Parks for its co-operation and to Susan at Rebecca Spit for her assistance. Free garbage bags were provided as a special contribution from Thrifty Foods and Coastal Community Credit Union provided a display window that advertise the clean-up. The Discovery Islander gave a helpful high profile to the event. All contributed to the event’s success.

Food and refreshments are a highlight of the Beach Clean-up event because they provide an opportunity to meet, visit and indulge. So thanks to the many bakers such as Gretchen Peters, Susan Wilson and Louella Baker, with special recognition to Mrs Bunz and to Leslie MacKenzie for her huge pot of delicious chili, and to those others others such as Sheelagh who staffed the food booth. Thanks, too, to Tru-Value Foods at Heriot Bay for food supplied through Spirit Points, for donations from Quadra Market at Quathiaski Cove, and for coffee from Aroma. Because so many people were involved, we apologize if we missed anyone.

But our most special thanks to all Quadra Islanders who wrestled styrofoam and tires over driftwood, and who collected and bagged our unwanted beach garbage. Without your many hours of work, the Beach Clean-up would not have been a success. You have all have made Quadra Island a healthier and more beautiful place to live. And you were part of many Earth Day events that now involve millions of Canadians and hundreds of millions of people from nearly 200 countries around the world.

Ray Grigg
for Sierra Quadra
Aquaculture Industry Jumps in
Comment by Lynden on 4th May 2010
It should be noted that we did have at least one response to the request to aquaculturists to assist in this years clean-up.
Steve (I'm sorry I didn't catch your last name) and his family who operate an oyster lease off of Read Island helped out immensely with the cleaning of Big Breton island. His large skiff was loaded to the gunnels and he even picked up the piles my partner and I had amassed after my boat died on me and gave me a tow home.

Kudos Steve.

I hope to see more from the industry out next year!