EDITORIAL: Among all the bad news, some good news is worth celebrating

(Image: File photo, John Cameron)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THERE’S SO MUCH bad news going around these days that it’s a pleasant surprise indeed to read about something really positive. It’s even better when it involves a government program that actually worked.

The B.C. government announced in August it would provide $3.5 million to clean up the province’s coast line. It was called the Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative, and was part of the response to COVID-19, creating work for some 150 crew members.

A coalition was formed that included First Nations, small ship tour operators, the Wilderness Tourism Association and others, and in September and October it got to work, patrolling a thousand kilometers of shoreline in two 21-day expeditions.

The first expedition resulted in the removal of 61 tonnes of garbage — tsunami debris, plastics, fishing gear, styrofoam and so on — from the Coast, bagged and hauled away on a barge the size of a hockey rink.

By the time the second expedition wrapped up, 127 tonnes had been removed, thanks to the efforts of six First Nations and crews using nine ships, 18 Zodiacs, a helicopter and the barge.

It’s a beautiful thing, seeing this happen. People who would otherwise have been out of work due to the pandemic contributing in a big way to protecting our environment.

The exercise illustrates the crummy way we treat the land and waters that sustain us, but offers hope that we can do something about it if we have the will. And it shows that if government listens to the concerns and ideas of those it serves, it can accomplish wonderful things.

The cleanup, though, only made a dent in the mess we’ve made of our coastline. Its success should encourage a determination to do it again, and again, until we’ve gotten control of the problem.

In the meantime, we should feel good about a very good start.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8658 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL: Among all the bad news, some good news is worth celebrating

  1. Shannon McArthur // October 29, 2020 at 1:12 PM // Reply

    I am so proud of us… we CAN choose the higher ground – AND clean up the coast so we can play in the tidal pools together! Thank you, Mel, for sharing this story, and YES, Lynn, I also hope a movie or video is made and released before too long… The network Nature has already aired documentaries about Australia’s fires, steps in their recovery and saving animals at risk of extinction because of the fires. (We CAN do it and FILM it too!!)

  2. I hope they made a video program of the two expeditions for Knowledge Network. I think a great many B.C. citizens would love to hear and watch the process of this event.

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