VANCOUVER, March 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, accepted on
behalf of Canada a one-time grant of approximately $1 million from the
Government of Japan to support clean-up work associated with debris
from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami. It was also announced that this
funding would be transferred to and administered by the British
Columbia Ministry of Environment.
"The Government of Canada is committed to cooperating with provinces,
territories and other stakeholders to protect Canada's fresh water and
coastal waters," said Minister Kent. "We gratefully accept Japan's
offer and will continue to work collaboratively to address the unique
local challenge of tsunami debris."
"British Columbians not only share in Japan's loss due to the Great
Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, but they share the Pacific Ocean as a
common neighbour and therefore truly understand the long lasting impact
this kind of natural disaster has on communities," said Terry Lake,
British Columbia Minister of Environment. "We are truly grateful for
this generous gift that will assist in ensuring our coastline is clean
"The ex gratia grant extended by the Government of Japan represents a
token of gratitude to the Government of Canada and the Canadian people
in recognition of the tremendous support provided to Japan in the wake
of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake," said Seiji Okada,
Consul-General of Japan in Vancouver, on behalf of H.E. Kaoru Ishikawa,
Ambassador of Japan to Canada.
The funding will be directed toward activities in the following areas:
Support for coastal communities and First Nations with debris planning,
management and clean-up effort;
Shoreline monitoring, removal and disposal of large objects of tsunami
Training and education about tsunami debris identification and disposal;
Support toward tsunami debris clean-up efforts in coastal provincial and
Oversight for the funding will be provided through the
Federal-Provincial Tsunami Debris Coordinating Committee (TDCC). The
TDCC works with local governments, the volunteer sector, the United
States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and
California, Oregon and Washington in the United States to develop a
coordinated response to tsunami debris on our collective shorelines.
Representatives of Environment Canada and the British Columbia Ministry
of Environment serve as co-chairs of the TDCC.
The Japanese government estimates that about 1.5 million tonnes of
debris was washed out into Pacific Ocean soon after the Tohoku
earthquake and tsunami on March 2011. Japan considers that some of this
debris remains afloat.To put this amount in perspective, 1.5 million
tonnes is roughly half of the 3 million tonnes of municipal solid waste
produced in Metro Vancouver in 2010. Since leaving the coast of Japan,
tsunami debris has been widely dispersed by ocean currents and winds.
While marine debris regularly washes up on British Columbia's shores,
confirmed pieces of tsunami debris have begun to arrive on the west
coast. The majority of the debris that are expected to arrive are small
and mostly consist of plastics, styrofoam, construction debris, rope,
fishing nets and buoys.
More information about the federal-provincial response to the arrival of
tsunami debris can be found at www.tsunamidebrisbc.ca.
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information:
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of the Environment
British Columbia Ministry of Environment Communications
Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca
Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan
(Également offert en français)