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Cleaning Up the Coast: A Marine Expedition in the BC Wilderness

In late summer 2020, Nat Hab Expedition Leader Eddy Savage was part of a wilderness journey that looked decidedly different from the typical trips he guides. This time, as Eddy followed the crenellated coast of central British Columbia, he wasn’t searching for humpback whales or spirit bears—he was looking for garbage. Hear about the 40 days Eddy spent at sea collecting debris, joining a group of small marine-based Canadian tour operators to undertake a massive cleanup on some of the most remote stretches of Canada’s Pacific coast. Two 3-week ventures were launched from expedition boats that served as a floating base, with forays by Zodiac to the rockbound shoreline and hard-to-access beaches. The crew doing the work, including Eddy, were all guides who had lost their income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the pristine nature of BC’s Great Bear Rainforest and the adjacent areas that were the focus of the cleanup, these wild places are by no means protected from ocean garbage, including a plague of plastic and other drifting debris. You’ll be astonished to hear how much refuse the teams collected—and inspired to learn more and do more to solve this global problem.


Originally presented February 10, 2021
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