Tsunami Debris Clean-up by Student Volunteers in Vancouver Island - More than 40 Garbage Bags Used

 Tsunami Debris Clean-up was conducted at the coast of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada in Vancouver Island on the 9th and 10th of March. ‘Japan Love Project’ organized the event.

 Ten of the organization members and twenty-two volunteers gathered and cleaned up five coasts per group over about twenty kilometers for total of eight hours for two days. They collected forty-three big garbage bags of tires, nets for fishery, baskets, floaters, ropes, wood for Japanese houses, expanded polystyrenes and plastic bottles for beverage, and separated them. After clean-up, they put flowers and offered silent prayer with Mayor Bill Irving at a big beach of Ucluelet.

 Experts estimate that the amount of debris washed up on the west coast of North America under the influence of Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami is 1.50 million tons. Sign up page for ‘Tsunami Debris Cleanup’ has been available since last May and Facebook page in The Maritime Museum of British Columbia has been launched to show ‘Photos of flotsam that has washed ashore.’ Each organization supports clean-up project called ‘Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’ sponsored by Vancouver Aquarium and WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). Ministry of Environment in British Columbia established a link of ‘Information on what to do if you find debris linked to the tsunami’ on their website. The article says that ‘If the item appears to pose an immediate life safety risk, call 911 or your local police.’ or ‘Items that appear to be personal belongings related to the Japanese tsunami should be treated with respect.’

 Japanese student volunteer organization in Vancouver ‘Japan Love Project’ was established on March 11th, 2011. They have engaged in reconstruction support, such as fundraising and charity event. Eri Akai from Public Relations says, ‘The Clean-up is the first activity with cooperation of local people. It is said that Tsunami debris will be washed ashore in the future as well as now. We’ll consider to have regular clean-up activity in the future.’

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)