The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup


Thursday, July 24th, 2008 — 6:00am PST
Comments 6

Earlier this week I had a poll on my site about the potential smoking ban on Vancouver beaches. Contrary to past articles I have written that have had heated discussions about smokers and non-smokers alike, I was (pleasantly) surprised to see the conversation shift to a matter of litter, as opposed to one about air pollution.

Discarded cigarettes not only litter the sand on beaches, they also cause environmental damage; whatever can be swept up on the beach will also be dragged out to sea with the tide and more than likely gobbled up by a creature after that.


Photo credit: Keira on Flickr

For 15 years the Vancouver Aquarium has been organizing the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Over the span of a week (September 20-28, 2008) volunteers can gather on local beaches and on the edges of lakes for one massive effort to remove litter and help restore the natural environment.

The program allows and enables participants from all walks of life to be an environmental steward for a day. By choosing a shoreline, participants can register to cleanup and record all the litter found at that shoreline. All data is returned to the Vancouver Aquarium for tallying. All tallied data is forwarded to the International Coastal Cleanup to contribute to worldwide results. In 2006, Canada was the 2nd largest cleanup in the world! [Cleanup – FAQ]

Anyone can sign up on the Shoreline website and initiate or join a cleanup in their area. Looking at the current map, Vancouver, West Vancouver and North Vancouver seem to be pretty well covered already but we have much more shoreline around that could use our help ie. Surrey including an available (not yet initiated) cleanup site at Semiahmoo Bay.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is, naturally, a nation-wide initiative even though it is formed by the Vancouver Aquarium. You can search by city on their website and follow event information and details on their blog if you would like to get involved this year.

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6 comments

  1. Raul says:

    Rebecca,

    This is a really awesome post. I am (like you) pleasantly surprised that the conversation shifted to the issue of solid waste, particularly because events like the Great Shoreline Cleanup don’t receive enough attention. Kudos to you for giving this event exposure 😀

  2. Miss604 says:

    @Raul – Don’t thank me, the Aquarium just told me about some of their initiatives and I felt like sharing them… cause they’re all pretty interesting and helpful. So… you wanna take on a beach with us? 😀

  3. Raul says:

    Yeah, I’ll join for sure!

  4. […] Miss 604 has a great story about a local campaign to clean up our shorelines (the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup).  Read about it here. […]

  5. Jay Grandin says:

    I was part of the clean-up a couple of years ago. It’s amazing how much human lifestyle byproduct accumulates in the less-populated parts of the shoreline!! It’s definitely worth dedicating a few hours too. Plus, I ended up with a sweet t-shirt, got to see some crabs in action, and had the good fortune of getting a marine biosphere play by play from an aquarium volunteer/marine biologist!

  6. Gisela says:

    Just reading your comments..
    Please visit my blog..The first pictures from the 2008 TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup can be viewed online.
    More to come..
    I am the shoreline coordinator for the Guildwood Village – (Toronto East) on Lake Ontario. Five years ago I joined the program. Every year we fight an uphill battle against the trash and debris accumulating along the shoreline of Lake Ontario.
    On Monday over 100 students from S. W. Laurier C.I. will join me and collect garbage. They are helping to leave a greener place for all creatures to enjoy.

    Trash doesn’t fall from the sky
    it falls from peoples hands.

    -Cheers Gisela Bach

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