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Organizations honoured for environmental commitment

Rugged Coast Research won an Ecostar award for its work removing marine debris from sensitive marine habitats on Vancouver Island. Photo via Rugged Coast Research

Salish Sea Industrial ­Service’s work dealing with the large number of abandoned and ­derelict vessels littering the waterways of southern ­Vancouver Island landed them the Clean Oceans award at Thursday night’s seventh annual Ecostar Awards Gala.

The annual event, run by the Synergy Sustainability ­Foundation, which recognizes environmental and social achievements and leadership on the Island, singled out Salish Sea for its environmental leadership in protecting the oceans.

Salish Sea, a partnership between ­Ralmax Group and First Nations, has removed 189 abandoned ­vessels in the region, including 67 in the past 18 months.

The night’s other winners came from communities from around the island, ­including Nanaimo, Tofino and Port Alberni. In keeping with the green theme of the evening, the awards were crafted from ­recycled chopsticks and 3-D printed recycled plastic.

Eluma Beauty, a carbon-neutral cosmetics company that cites keeping 184,000 products from the landfill through its refillable products, sustainable palette system and alternative packaging ­materials, won the Climate Action award, while the Community ­Leadership winner was the Land Conservancy of B.C., the first land trust in Canada to acquire property with the intention of transferring it to a First Nation as an act of ­reconciliation.

The Ecological Stewardship award went to Rugged Coast Research, which removed 70,000 kilos of marine debris from sensitive marine ­habitats around the Island over the last two years, and the ­Ecopreneur of the Year was Katie ­Gamble of Nature Bee, which ­manufactures beeswax wraps and ­biodegradable dishcloths.

The Parkside Hotel was named the Greenest ­Hospitality Experience winner, while ­Schneider Electric was the Greenest Office award winner and SUPPLY Victoria Creative Reuse Centre, won the Greenest Retailer award.

Power To Be won the ­Innovation award, Iyé ­Creative Collective took home the ­Inspirational New Venture prize and B.C. Transit won for ­Leadership in Design and ­Construction for the ­redevelopment of its new ­handyDART centre.

The Local Food award ­winner was Harvest & Share Food Relief Society, the Regenerative Tourism award went to Nootka Marine Adventures and the Regenerative Tourism award went to Strathcona Park Lodge.

The City of Victoria won an award for Social Impact for its Get Growing Victoria program which distributed food seedlings and garden materials to allow 10,000 households to grow their own food.

And Salt Legacy won the Waste to Resource award for its outdoor adventure bags created from donated used sailcloth.

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