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eNCA South Africa, January 14, 2021

OceansAsia report says billions of masks end up in the ocean

There is a very worrying report from the environmental organization Ocean Asia who believe that more than a billion masks have ended up in the ocean in the past year, which amounts to over 6000 tonnes of plastic pollution. Gloves too are a problem. So let’s get some South African input.

NBC Philadelphia, January 14, 2021

About 1.5 Billion Face Masks Likely Polluted Our Oceans in 2020, Oceans Asia Study Finds

While masks and other protective gear are crucial in the fight against COVID-19, they can have an incredibly damaging impact on the planet. The director of research at the conservation group Oceans Asia, Teale Phelps Bondaroff, joined LX News to discuss how massive numbers of face masks have been entering our oceans since the start of the pandemic.

Victoria Buzz, January 13, 2021

400th Little Free Library installed in Greater Victoria

GVPN says they have been mapping Little Free Libraries across the CRD for the past four years as part of their Pocket Places Project.

The project helps people install their own libraries and tops up collections with books. To date, GVPN says they have helped set up nearly 50 Little Free Libraries and delivered over 19,000 books across the CRD.

“We have the highest documented density of little free libraries in Canada,” says Teale Phelps Bondaroff, GVPN volunteer board member and Pocket Places Project Lead.

The Denver Channel, Dec. 24, 2020

More than 1.5 billion masks believed to have entered oceans in 2020

The marine conservation group has been tracking the number of face masks washing up on a remote island south of Hong Kong since the pandemic started.
 

“About six weeks after COVID hit Hong Kong, so late February, we began finding masks, and lots of masks," said Phelps Bondaroff. “What’s remarkable is we weren’t finding face masks before COVID.”

Times Colonist, December 21, 2020

Churches breaking COVID-19 rules still get government tax breaks

PTEs “exist specifically to support work that benefits the community,” said BCHA researcher Teale Phelps Bondaroff. “So, I would argue that a place of worship that is holding meetings in open defiance of COVID-19 regulations that are in place to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the pandemic is not providing a service that benefits the community – quite the opposite.

CTV News, December 7, 2020

More than 1.56 billion face masks could end up polluting oceans: report

“The 1.56 billion face masks that will likely enter our oceans in 2020 are just the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, Director of Research for OceansAsia, and lead author of the report said in a press release. “[It’s] just a small fraction of the estimated 8 to 12 million metric tonnes of plastic that enter our oceans each year.”

Saanich News, November 26, 2020

Christian-based prayer at inaugural Vancouver Island council meetings violates court ruling

“The separation of religion and government is fundamental to democracy,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, research coordinator for the BC Humanist Association. “You can’t have a democracy that excludes some people or that favours some people over others. That’s just not a good functioning government.”

Victoria News, November 5, 2020

Saanich resident renews petition to ban gas leaf blowers, update noise bylaw

With leaf blower season in full swing and more people spending their days at home due to COVID-19, he’s seen an influx in support for the petition as residents become aware of the “acute noise pollution” created by gas leaf blowers.

Noise is a less obvious form of pollution that’s often overlooked, Phelps Bondaroff said. He added that gas leaf blowers create emissions and scatter dust particles that harm the environment and have negative impacts on those with respiratory issues.

Victoria News, October 14, 2020

B.C. NDPs free birth control pledge a win for equality, will pay for itself: advocates

Phelps Bondaroff said that while free contraception from the province comes with a price tag, a 2010 report from Options for Sexual Health – a organization that offers low-cost, or free, access to sexual health and gynaecological services – found that for every dollar spent on contraception, the government saves $90 on social support programs. In total, the report estimates that the government could save approximately $95 million per year with a free birth control policy.

The Hindustan Times, Sept. 26, 2020

13 times rise in quantity of sea cucumber seizures from India over five years: Study

Between January and August 2020, 11 cases were reported, 15 persons were arrested, and 9,016kg of sea cucumbers worth ₹9.58 crore (US$1.3 million) was seized. Consignments were a mix of live, processed (dry and wet), and semi-processed sea cucumbers.

“There has been a significant increase in sea cucumber poaching and smuggling in the south of India recently, with Lakshadweep and Tamil Nadu now global hot spots,” said Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff, director of research, OceansAsia.

The Tyee, September 12, 2020

Is Free Contraception Finally Coming to BC?

Black and Phelps Bondaroff say universal no-cost contraception won’t eliminate embedded social and economic barriers to access right away, but it would help reduce stigma and open up conversations around reproductive health.

“When you make prescription contraception universally available at no cost, you are also helping with education and removing some of the stigma and barriers around discussing contraception and sexual health,” said Phelps Bondaroff. 

Hakai Magazine, July 16, 2020

When the Day’s Catch Includes Cocaine and Heroin

Vast, unpatrolled oceans provide ideal cover for these illicit activities. Even with the advent of satellite surveillance, “we don’t have the capacity to monitor the ocean as effectively as we’d like,” says Teale Phelps Bondaroff, director of research at nonprofit OceansAsia and an expert in fisheries crime who was not involved in the study. The high seas are hotspots for organized crime, as are the waters of developing countries with low enforcement capacity, he says. “Where governance is poor, crime will flourish.”

Times Colonist, July 2, 2020

Comment: Let’s reimagine our streets, and give pedestrians priority

Join us in encouraging your mayor and council to reimagine our streets and public spaces to give pedestrians priority. Let’s take this chance to re-animate our public spaces and breathe new life into our cities and towns.

China Dialogue, June 10, 2020

Why are porpoise deaths on the rise in Hong Kong?

It is unlikely that the population can sustain such high levels of mortality, says Teale Phelps Bondaroff, director of research for Oceans Asia, a non-profit based in Hong Kong.

“The last population survey in 2002 identified 220 porpoises. We’ve had more than that many die since then,” says Phelps Bondaroff, author of the new report. “The fact that we have a high percentage of the population potentially being killed each year is alarming.”

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