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Nanaimo city council supports VIU clean water club

Nanaimo city council has voted to support the Surfrider Foundation of Canada as they apply for funding to support their network of clubs across the province. 

In a letter, branch manager Katie Keats says their organization’s mission statement is to ensure the protection and enjoyment of the ocean, beaches and waves for everyone.  

She adds so far, the organization has made significant advances towards creating cleaner waterways by removing garbage and debris from coastlines. 

“We have made strives to address the sources of plastic pollution, support safe beach access, restore local and remote shorelines from litter and marine debris,” she says. “We also have supported the shift to a circular economy for all plastic materials and products.” 

The organization is looking to start their club at Vancouver Island University, which will operate in Nanaimo, and Keats says the launch of the new chapter will start with their very own beach cleanup. 

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“There isn’t a presence in the mid-island and they just recently got approval from the student union about a month or so ago,” she says. “They wanted to host a beach cleanup to kick off their chapter.” 

She says the letter of support is a strong way local communities can provide backing to their local chapters to adopt cleaner, greener and safer waterways across the country. 

“Essentially, as part of our funding application, we look to gain support from the local municipalities, and First Nations communities,” she says. “This is just an extra step.” 

She says they are looking to obtain approximately $100 thousand in funding, which will be used to support volunteers, improve data and management of materials and ensure debris collected is recycled and not sent to landfill. 

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