Volunteers participate in the 2012 shore cleanup in British Columbia.
Photo Credit: Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup needs you


You’d be amazed at what washes up on
Canadian shores, say organizers.
© Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Litter ruins shorelines across Canada and in many parts of the world. Volunteers are about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and organizers like Susan Debreceni, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at the Vancouver Aquarium are calling on people to sign up and get involved.

Cigarette butts are the top items collected every year, followed by food wrappers/containers, plastic bags, caps/lids, beverage bottles/cans, food serving ware, straws/stirrers, paper bags, tobacco packaging and building materials.

These are items not just dumped in rivers and oceans, but litter left on land too tends to migrate downhill to waterways.

Debris from Japan’s tsunami in 2011 washed up on shore on Canada’s Pacific coast and is still being monitored.

Volunteers from across Canada take part in the cleanup.
© Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Shore litter hurts animals

Shore litter doesn’t just look bad. It entangles and chokes wildlife, is eaten by wild animals, and it affects water quality and cleanliness.

45 animals were found entangled during last year’s cleanup including 22 fish, ten birds and even a fox. Volunteers collected 136,000+ kilograms of shoreline litter.

The goal this year is to get 64,000 site coordinators and volunteers to participate in the program. Anyone can go on-line and volunteer to start a program in their area. Information is provided on how to go about organizing people and collecting data.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada and is an initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Fund Canada.

The food corporation Loblaw Companies is a major sponsor helping promote the event. Other sponsors include the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the Vancouver airport and the province of British Columbia.

Categories: Environment & Animal Life, Society

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