Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's a Whale of a Plastic Picnic

+ Video of Whale Visit + Photos + Links + Story

Gray Whale on the Sunshine Coast
Photo (C) Peggy Collins

We might as well be dumping a bucket of plastic straight down the throat of this Grey Whale visiting the Sunshine Coast.


Whale in Davis Bay, Sunshine Coast BC from Marc Buzzell on Vimeo.

World Map of Ocean Plastic Choking Life on Earth
Time to clean it up! Recycle what we can, make art out of what's left to raise funds.

Going A Smile A Minute!
By Duane Burnett

For many of us a whale is a magical creature. So when a gray aka grey whale came to visit the Sunshine Coast BC it was the talk and gawk of the town.

But I still can't stop thinking back to this short 1/2 block walk I took a couple weeks ago along Trail Bay beach in Sechelt.

Happened just around the time when people started spotting the whale.

During a short walk along the beach in Sechelt I picked up two fistfuls of some pretty disgusting plastic unmentionables. 2 bulging overflowing hand fulls of plastic and garbage in only a couple minutes time.

Seems like we've thrown a big plastic picnic party and are drowning in our own waste and taking the rest of the planet down the drain with us.

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I had heard from several people that the whale was seen swimming around Gibsons Landing harbour, Davis Bay, and Sechelt off and on. But the more I think of it the more I see it swimming in filth. Our filth.

My friend and videographer Marc Buzzell caught some video footage of the whale gently breaching for air just off Davis Bay, BC which he posted to my facebook profile wall for all to enjoy, and I have asked permission to share with you on my blog. Thanks Marc!

In the not so long ago department, the Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Mill, which used to be called Port Mellon, near Langdale, or "Port Smellon" (local slang), used to dump its horrific pulp and paper bleach by-products contaminated with dioxins right into Howe Sound not far from the BC Ferry terminal.

You can just imagine what it did to marine life!

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Many local fisherman have told me that rather then pull their boat's out of the water for a yearly cleaning they would just go park over top of the outtake pipe at the mill to kill everything off the undersides of their boats.

Same guys who told me they blame the seals for the lack of salmon so they shoot the seals with their rifles. Another fun thing these fisherman told me is how when they catch dogfish, also called a cat shark, they cut its fins off and throw it back in the water to die slowly. Nice eh!

Where is our respect and reverence for Life when we treat other creatures we share this planet with such cruelty from food production factories, abusing children to torturing puppies. It is really a reflection on ourselves I think.

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Happily, the Howe Sound Pulp & Paper was forced to adopt some of the highest green technologies and standards in the world, thanks to all those radical hippies and environmentalists standing up for a clean earth.

Now protecting the environment and planet is part of the companies culture. Most awesome. It truly is our businesses leaders who will show the way and lead us to a green sustainable future on this planet.

I do a lot of walking and touring about our wonderful Sunshine Coast community. I am amazed to see that people just throw their garbage anywhere or leave it for the wind and birds to pick through.

It saddens me deeply to think that this beautiful miracle of a creature is living in and scooping up plastic and toxins that swirl around the Strait of Georgia that gets dumped into the ocean from the Fraser River, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, Lower Mainland, and Pugest Sound, Washington.

Then multiply that on a west coast, east coast, world coast scale and that explains the giant gyro of garbage and plastic swirling about the Pacific Ocean. Apparently they call it the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its the biggest garbage patch on earth! Nothing to be proud of though.

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If you look at the orange piece of plastic closely you can read the Spanish writing on it saying it was made in Mexico!

Where are our plastic corporate leaders in cleaning this mess up?

Or do they make the profit and the people pay the cost?

And better yet, why are we still making and doing anything we know is bad for us and the planet in the first place and not taking source responsibility.

I know, profit, progress, jobs!!!

Either way, we all pay the terrible cost of this horrific destruction of animal, marine, and wildlife species painfully dying from plastic and garbage every day in every way. And if they go I suspect we are not far behind.

I wrote a previous blog about this called Our Plastic Problem is Our Oil Problem. In it I shared an appalling video that shows images of us drowning in our own filth and plastic. There are also lots of good links and groups you can join to educate yourself and help make a difference.

I might not be a Doctor or have a PH.D. but one thing I do understand clearly is that any species that outgrows its environment becomes a cancer to itself and implodes. You can see this in mega city's where the inner city implodes.

The process of making beer is a good example. The yeast eats the sugar to get energy then shits out alcohol which is toxic and poisonous to it. Eventually it poisons its own house and dies. We call it beer or wine and drink it.

In a larger scale, like let's say that blue planet called Earth, we are doing the same thing and the only way to stop it is to fundamentally change our inner relationship with ourselves and our reverence for Life.

We must respect LIFE and ourselves, the stuff of life.

One small thing I do when walking down any beach or trail for that matter, whether in Roberts Creek, Gibsons, Pender Harbour or Sechelt is I pick up the garbage. Pick it up. Put in the garbage. Try to stop bitching about it. LOL Just do it! I also take photos of it as to my creative mind litter is an abstract form of art for some reason.

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July 13, 2010
Davis Bay was turned into chaos by a local visitor. The star attraction, a grey whale. Apparently 2 have been visiting Trail Bay on the Sunshine Coast, BC for the past couple weeks. Over a thousand people lined the boardwalk and screamed with delight at the whale's every move as it swam back and forth between the Chapman Creek estuary and the pier for a period of 2 hours.

People literally abandoned cars on the street blocking traffic to get a glimpse as the whale came up for air very close to the shore line between 7 to 10pm. If you spot the whale leave a message on my facebook profile where and when.

Its great to see such excitement for the whale when our oceans are in crisis and the Gulf Oil Spill has killed much of the Atlantic and Gulf.

Ok, thanks for reading my blog, this is almost like therapy for me. Its been eating away at me since I was a young child.

I truly appreciate your time, comments, feedback, likes and sharing this with your social network friends.

Best Wishes, Yours for the planet, Duane Burnett

Our Plastic Problem is Our Oil Problem

Estimated Gallons Leaked by BP in the Gulf of Mexico


Grey Whale
It's Always A Good Day on the Sunshine Coast!

Hope you liked! Come and Join me on facebook or twitter! Duane

Duane's Facebook Profile

Duane's Facebook Fan Page

Sunshine Coast BC Canada facebook FAN PAGE


  1. We have a group in Powell River called Pebble in the Pond working on plastics and other environmental issues. We also have several trash bashes each year to clean up what others litter. It is a sorry thing to see our beautiful land trashed. - - Margy

  2. Thanks for doing your part (and more) to work against the problem of litter and pollution, Duane. Your pictures of trash that you've collected are particularly compelling.

    Peggy Collins


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