To improve fish habitat, volunteers will clear garbage from Pandora Slough and adjoining waterways in Zeballos. Photo courtesy, Justin Janisse.

Volunteers to help clean waterways and improve fish habitat in Zeballos

The clean-up is organized by the village of Zeballos and Nootka Sound Watershed Society

A group of 24 volunteers will head out to clean different tidal areas in Zeballos on Monday, Aug.24.

The clean-up, spearheaded by Nootka Sound Watershed Society, the Zeballos council and Ehattesaht First Nation, is a much awaited community initiative to clear up debris from the waterways in the village.

“The aim is to remove garbage from the water and improve fish habitats ,” said Zeballos councillor Justin Janisse.

“Over the years people have littered our waterways with unwanted things such as metal, bicycles and plastic items that have been deposited along estuaries. We orchestrated a plan to get people together and clear these items from our environment,” said Janisse.

A collaborative effort, expertise will be provided by NSWS and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Volunteers will assemble at the community hall at 9 a.m. on Monday before heading to Pandora Slough, a salmon habitat in need of cleaning.

Other tidal areas in the village will also be cleaned said Janisse and added that volunteers will segregate into small groups and concentrate on cleaning particular areas of the water ways.

“It’s great to see the neighbours come together and try to make the place we live in a better place,” said Janisse and added that local businesses such as Greig’s seafood and Strategic National Resource consultant also came forward to support the cause.

Local fishing lodge, Reel Obsession will be providing lunch for the volunteers. Similarly, personal protective equipment (PPE) will also be provided to the volunteers to ensure their safety.

Janisse said that the village might try to make these cost-efficient clean-up activities an annual event for community members to participate in.

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