For immediate release

Vancouver Plastic Cleanup aims to pilot 12 Seabins over the next three summers in Vancouver Waters

 Seabins capture plastic pollution before it travels further into the sea and enters the food chain 

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – June 21, 2021 

Swim Drink Fish, a Canadian Charity, is initiating the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and overseeing multiple Seabins in Vancouver. These trash skimmers will be placed in trash-laden waters over the next three years to pilot a waste characterization, plastic education, and advocacy project. 

Seabins are the latest citizen science data collection tool to be used by Fraser Riverkeeper’s Vancouver Water Monitoring Hub.

False Creek, which supports many types of water recreation year-round as well as hundreds of different species of wildlife, has become contaminated by our plastic waste. 

This June, three Seabins were installed at marinas across Granville Island, including Granville Island Public Dock, Sea Village Marina, and Maritime Market Marina Ltd. These sites were selected due to the high concentration of floatable debris in those areas. 

Seabins use an electric pump that constantly skims and filters the surface of the water. The submersible water pump is capable of displacing 25,000 liters per hour. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin. Seabins collect floating debris such as macroplastics, microplastics as small as 2mm, microfibers, hydrocarbons, and contaminated organic waste like seaweed. 

Join us for a free webinar to introduce the Seabins on June 22 at 2:00 pm PDT. Register here.

Made possible by generous funding from Peter Wall Coastal Protection Initiative, the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup is a coalition spearheaded by Swim Drink Fish.  It was inspired by the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup, co-founded by Pollution Probe and the Council of Great Lakes Region.

Coalition partners include Fraser Riverkeeper, Peter Wall Charitable Foundation,
Smart Marine, Dentist on Demand, Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup, Pollution Probe, Skookum Yacht Services, CMHC - Granville Island, Sea Village Marina, Maritime Market Marina Ltd., Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Chapter, Poralu Marine, Water Products & Solutions, and the U of T Trash Team.

Each year, tens of thousands pieces of plastic litter are collected by community scientists. In 2017, 25,000 microplastics were counted in False Creek in a single reading. An estimated 30 billion microplastics are released into Vancouver's waters each year by water treatment plants, polluting their surrounding watersheds.

The network of Swim Drink Fish citizen scientists capture data and measure debris collected by mass and characterize the litter by product type and then properly disposed of by local partners. The data will be uploaded to the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup and Great Lake Plastic Cleanup websites. Combined, this data will allow the team to understand the effectiveness in removing plastic litter and make predictions about the sources of litter entering our waterways. 

 

Quotes:

Fraser Riverkeeper is leading the way across Canada as a community based water quality hub. It is collecting and sharing environmental data with the public to improve and protect our waters. The Seabins are a great example of innovation, action and collaboration resulting in meaningful impacts on swimmable drinkable fishable water.  “Mark Mattson, President Swim Drink Fish Canada

"The waters around Vancouver are what make it one of most beautiful and abundant regions in the world," said Swim Drink Fish’s Vancouver Waterkeeper, Lauren Hornor "The Vancouver Plastic Cleanup is a chance to celebrate our connections to those waters, and get inspired about protecting them."

“During the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup, Swim Drink Fish will work with local communities and businesses to keep plastics out of our environment and waterways, thereby protecting Vancouver’s waters—now and for future generations” said Sadie Caron, Fraser Riverkeeper.

“Let’s live green, not just talk green.” Peter Wall

“Years ago I realized we had a serious issue with marine pollution on the west coast especially with non encapsulated foam floatation. This coalition will finally bring education and action to the issues we face in our waters. With our products and technology at Smart Marine Co. we are eager to get our hands dirty and are extremely excited to be a part of this initiative” Ameer Abu-Ulba, Smart Marine Co. (Seabin Distributor)

“Our waters have never needed our help as much as they do today.  The executive team at Dentist on Demand is thrilled to partner with the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup Coalition to clean our city’s waterways and provide education on the importance of reducing marine pollution.  The time to act is now and Swim Drink Fish has provided us an amazing opportunity to participate in this initiative.” Tyler McClendon, Dentist on Demand

“Our vision for Granville Island is to be a living lab for urban experimentation,” said Sebastian Lippa, Manager of Planning and Development for CMHC-Granville Island. “We are proud to be a partner in the Sea Bins project, which through innovative technology and a creative approach to partnership, will deepen our understanding of water quality in False Creek.”    

“We are excited to bring the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup’s successful model of using litter capture technologies to remove plastic from our water, collect data and engage local communities around plastic pollution, to Vancouver, ” said Melissa DeYoung, Director of Policy and Programs at Pollution Probe. “The Vancouver Plastic Cleanup provides an amazing opportunity to continue to drive constructive change aimed at bringing an end to plastic pollution.”

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Social Media Links

  • Hashtag for Twitter & Instagram: #VancouverPlasticCleanup #SwimDrinkFish #FraserRiverkeeper
  • Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @fraserrivkeeper

 

Social Media Summary

@swimdrinkfish and @fraserrivkeeper are spearheading the #VancouverPlasticCleanup by installing, maintaining, and overseeing multiple trash skimmer including #Seabins around Granville Island, in the heart of False Creek, to bring attention to and combat one of the greatest threats to healthy waters: plastic pollution. Officially launching on June 22nd at 2pm PDT, this innovative technology filters 25,000 litres of water per hour, 24/7.

Thank you to all of the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup coalition members including Peter Wall Charitable Foundation, Fraser Riverkeeper, Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup, Pollution Probe, Smart Marine, Dentist on Demand, CMHC - Granville Island, Sea Village Marina, Maritime Market Marina Ltd., and the U of T Trash Team

 

About Fraser Riverkeeper

Founded in 2004, Fraser Riverkeeper Society is a Vancouver-based charity dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Fraser River and its watershed. Fraser Riverkeeper is a subsidiary of the national charity Swim Drink Fish. We use citizen science and communications technology to empower people to know and safeguard their water. Fraser Riverkeeper runs a Citizen Science Water Monitoring Program on Granville Island, which connects people to their local water, collects recreational water quality samples, shares the results for free, and engages people in practices that protect and restore their waters. For more information about Fraser Riverkeeper, please visit: fraserriverkeeper.ca.

About Swim Drink Fish

Swim Drink Fish is a nonprofit organization working to connect people with water since 2001. Swim Drink Fish works at the confluence of water, people, and technology. We focus on water, because all communities need swimmable, drinkable, fishable water to thrive. We empower people, because it takes a community to protect water. We create communications technology tools, because the web has the power to engage enough people to protect all waters. www.swimdrinkfish.ca 

About Peter Wall Coastal Protection Initiative

The Peter Wall Coastal Protection Initiative aims to remove plastic pollution from local waterways in Vancouver, support citizen science based water quality monitoring, address gaps in local sewage and waste-water infrastructure, and engage all levels of government on matters of local coastal protection.

About Pollution Probe

Pollution Probe is a national, not-for-profit, charitable organization that exists to improve the health and well-being of Canadians by advancing policy that achieves positive, tangible environmental change. Pollution Probe has a proven track record of working in successful partnership with industry, government, academia, and civil society to develop practical solutions for shared environmental challenges.

About Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup

Spearheaded by Pollution Probe and the Council of the Great Lakes Region, the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup (GLPC) is the single-largest initiative of its kind in the world, using innovative Seabin and LittaTrap technology to capture and remove plastics and other litter at marinas from Lake Ontario to Lake Superior and everywhere in between. Through research, outreach, and education, the GLPC is working to better understand the sources of plastic entering our lakes and waterways as well as how we can all work together to further reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic waste. www.greatlakesplasticcleanup.org

About Smart Marine

Smart Marine Co. is an official Seabin distributor based in Vancouver. 

Dentists on Demand

Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada - the ownership group at Dentist on Demand has a keen interest in keeping their province and country beautiful. Our oceans are critical to the sustainability of life on this planet. Dentist on Demand gives the public an easier way to care for their health while improving the current state of our environment. Dentistondemand.com

[email protected]

About CMHC-Granville Island

CMHC-Granville Island manages Granville Island on behalf of the Government of Canada. Granville Island is home to more than 300 small, independent businesses, and is a major public destination and creative hub for food, arts, and maritime industry. 

About Maritime Market Marina

Maritime Market and Marina, a leading BC marina, is located on Granville Island, in the heart of Vancouver, BC. This BC Marina has the distinction of being one of the most central Vancouver moorages.

About Sea Village Marina

Sea Village joined Granville Island in 1979 when the floating-home marina was moved from its previous location in Coal Harbour. Residents are committed to sustainability and reducing energy consumption by building eco-friendly homes using recycled building materials, heat-pumps, solar panels, natural ventilation, and shared amenities. We are dedicated community members and are currently working to restore the fish habitat of False Creek.

About U of T Trash Team  

The U of T Trash Team is a science-based community outreach group made up of undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, researchers, local volunteers and staff all working together with a common goal to increase waste literacy in our community while reducing plastic pollution in our ecosystems. They were founded in 2017 in collaboration with the Rochman Lab, part of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. The U of T Trash team aims to connect people and increase literacy concerning material consumption and waste with fun, creative and practical actions. They use education, public outreach and scientific research to deliver evidence-based solutions to decrease solid waste and promote a circular economy.

About Surfrider Vancouver 

Surfrider Vancouver is a local chapter of the global Surfrider Foundation organization. Their team of volunteers is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the ocean, waves and beaches, for all people, of our beautiful BC coast. Surfrider Vancouver is committed to direct environmental and social action through engaging the public via community events. By working with municipal and provincial governmental agencies, partner NGOs, and private stakeholders they enable lasting change through projects aimed at reducing the impacts of plastic pollution, wastewater treatment and, ultimately, the elimination of single use plastics.

www.vancouverbc.surfrider.org/

Poralu Marine

Poralu Marine is the world leader in the design, construction, and installation of aluminum marinas.
In March 2016, Poralu Marine signed up with the Seabin Project to be the exclusive worldwide
manufacturer and distributor. In June 2021, Poralu Marine announced the launch of the Searial Cleaners, a full range of trash
trapping technologies.

Water Products & Solutions

Water Products & Solutions is the master distributor of Poralu Marine in the Americas and
Caribbean region for its range of trash trapping technologies.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Lauren Hornor, Vancouver Waterkeeper, Swim Drink Fish 

604-786-0888

[email protected]

 

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