Lasqueti is a small island east of Vancouver Island in the Strait of Georgia with roughly 425 year-round residents.
The island's residents and other nearby islands have had to endure significant amounts of foamed polystyrene washing up on their shores. In general, this pollution is attributed to nearby aquaculture practices and docks. The southeastern winds often present in the Strait of Georgia, make the Gulf Islands a hotspot for marine debris.
On Lasqueti, approximately 80% of the marine debris that accumulates on the beaches is a form of polystyrene.
In an attempt to combat the extensive amount of pollution, the island has sponsored an annual beach cleanup called “Lasqueti Styrofoam Day”. In addition to the clean-ups, the residents of Lasqueti also have annual meetings trying to address what can be done about the polystyrene pollution continually contaminating their shores. Lasqueti residents have worked with marine conservation organizations to bring this issue to the attention of the BC government.
This website is brought to you by the Lasqueti Shoreline Debris Initiative, members of the British Columbia Marine Debris Working Group, in partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) Ocean Leaders (Karly McMullen, Briana Magnuson, Julia Adelsheim).
Expanded polystyrene litter is a widely concerning problem in British Columbia. While Lasqueti Island residents and others have taken efforts into their own hands, Canadian political action is needed.