Skip to content

Sunshine Coast’s first Seabin installed ahead of World Oceans Day

Shoreline clean-ups and other water events planned for June 8
Sechelt Seabin
The Sunshine Coast’s first Seabin was installed at Sunshine Coast Air’s floating docks on May 28. From left to right: Ameer Abu-Ulba of Seasons Contracting Ltd., Tom Pinfold and Sheila Tyner of the Sechelt Rotary Club.

A new way to tackle ocean pollution hit the water in Sechelt Inlet on May 28.

The Sunshine Coast’s first Seabin was launched by the Sechelt Rotary Club at Sunshine Coast Air’s floating docks, where it will collect trash from the surface of the water.

Invented in Australia, the Seabin acts as a trash skimmer, moving with the tides as it pumps and filters water. It will collect floating garbage, including microplastics. According to the company, Seabins can catch up to one and a half tonnes of trash per year. Around the world there are more than 860 Seabins, and a handful of them are located in B.C.

And the Sechelt Seabin is already making waves. Right away, Sunshine Coast Air’s Theressa Logan said it made them realize that two of their old docks are part of the problem. Older docks have plastic foam on the underside, and small pieces were escaping into the environment. So, Sunshine Coast Air is removing two of their docks.

“It was kind of an eye opener and a realization that all these old docks with Styrofoam throughout the coast are really hazardous to our sea life,” Logan said. “We're learning for sure.”

Mike Price, the president of the Sechelt Rotary Club, told Coast Reporter they hope to encourage others in Porpoise Bay to put their own Seabins in to help clean up the area.

Including installation, the Seabin came with a price tag of around $10,000 and was paid for by the Sechelt Rotary Club. 

On June 8, the Rotary Club will host its first meeting with volunteers. Price said they’re hoping to recruit youth and student volunteers to help with the project. 

Volunteers will study and weigh the materials collected by the Seabin to research the type of trash found and identify its source. The Rotary will make the data available online and create educational materials for marinas and the public. 

World Oceans Day events

On June 8, there are a number of Sunshine Coast-based events the public is welcome to take part in. 

The Loon Foundation’s Pender Harbour Ocean Discovery Station (PODS) is hosting COVID-safe shoreline clean-ups at local beaches around Pender Harbour.

Locations will include Baker Beach, Martin Cove, and Irvines Landing.

Garbage containers will be provided starting at 9 a.m. Participants are invited to share photos of their efforts on social media for a chance to win prizes, and are asked to maintain social distancing and safety protocols. 

The Howe Sound/Átl’ka7tsem Marine Reference Guide project is also launching two maps of the region that promote stewardship, sense of place and conservation initiatives. Their online celebration will begin at 7 p.m. on June 7 on their Facebook page.

Following World Oceans Day, the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre is continuing the work to protect the ocean with a shoreline clean up over several weeks. The centre’s team is joining the province’s Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative fund to help clean up 400 kilometres of coastline in the central Salish Sea area and other areas, including the Sunshine Coast, Gambier Island, Thormanby Island and Texada Island.