Last year, the directors of the Bee Islets Grower’s Corp in Gorge Harbour set out to tackle a problem that has plagued the shellfish industry for years – the large billets of Styrofoam® used as floatation for shellfish rafts pose an environmental nuisance as they deteriorate with age. Several attempts have been made over the years to reduce this problem, but they have largely proven ineffectual, or not economically viable.
Bee Islets’ innovative project, called Canadian-Aquaculture-Styrofoam-Encasement (CASE), involved encapsulating existing floats in a shell of rugged seaworthy plastic, ending the breakdown of foam nodules into the water column and onto our beaches. President Julia Rendall’s research led her to Mike Hanna of West Coast Spray Foam who sourced a product that could be sprayed directly onto existing foams. The product is tough, durable and environmentally friendly.
Project Financial Manager, Sandra Wood’s persistent support proved invaluable, successfully applying for a Canadian Government grant through the DFO’s Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP), which contributed nearly $50,000 for the project. Corporate and public support was instantaneous, as was the financial and volunteer labour commitment from the various shellfish Growers comprising the Bee Islets Growers Corp. Special thanks go to these Growers, and also to Roberta Stevenson of the BC Shellfish Growers Association, Amanda Thornton of the Stewards of the Gorge Harbour Society, Richard Glickman of the Gorge Harbour Marina, Doug Brown and Suzanne Denis, Wayne & Dianne Duplesis, BC Hydro, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations, Noba Anderson, Director of Cortes Electoral Area ‘B’, and to Sean Irvine of Fisheries and Oceans Canada for his helpful support.
For more information, contact Julia Rendall at email@example.com or phone 250-935-6681.