An official from the Japanese government announced in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday morning that Canada would be receiving a $1 million donation to aid in tsunami debris cleanup on the country’s western coast. Peter Kent, the Canadian Environment Minister, said the gesture was largely symbolic, but would still be greatly appreciated. He added that the funds would be directly given to British Columbia, the province that makes up Canada’s west coast.
B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake said most of the money would be saved for the cleanup of debris to arrive in the near future, as well as go to local communities to help with its disposal. Large amounts of money are expected to needed to handle the threats of invasive species that may arrive attach to larger pieces of debris, such as the metal docks that have already washed ashore in Oregon and Washington in the U.S.
The B.C. local government has estimated that roughly 1.5 million tons of debris will arrive on the coast as a result of the devastating March 2011 Japanese tsunami, nearly half the annual amount of garbage generated by the city of Vancouver in 2010. Environment Minister Lake has said the amount of debris that has already arrived in Canada has not been as much as what experts originally expected, but addressing the cleanup needed so far has already cost approximately $500,000. While there have been tons of small items arriving on B.C.’s coast, larger items have included storage tanks and fishing boats, but the most significant item has easily been the Harley Davidson motorcycle that was traced back to its owner and subsequently donated to a museum.
[via CBC News]
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