Public can get involved in fight against shoreline litter

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and World Wildlife Federation.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Celebrating 20 years this fall, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation initiative of Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, is calling on Canadians to sign up as site coordinators or participants for this fall’s cleanup, Sept. 21–29.

The Shoreline Cleanup is Canada’s largest direct-action conservation initiative, mobilizing participants throughout the country to remove litter from its shorelines – anywhere where land meets water.

“Throughout its 20-year history, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has enlisted half a million Canadians to collect approximately 1.2 million kilograms of shoreline litter – the approximate weight of 259 school buses,” says Jill Dwyer, program manager.

“Although these figures represent great accomplishments, they also indicate that there is much more work left to do, and many more volunteers required to stem the tide of shoreline litter.”

Last year, Shoreline Cleanup collected 136,000-plus kilograms of shoreline litter. As with every year, site coordinators will be cataloguing which litter items will be collected in the highest numbers on Canada’s shorelines. Last year, the biggest culprits were cigarettes and cigarette filters (nearly 417,000 items collected), food wrappers/containers (nearly 99,000 items collected), and plastic bags (nearly 70,000 items collected).

These items landed the top spots on Shoreline Cleanup’s 2012 “Dirty Dozen” list, along with caps/lids, beverage bottles/cans, food serving ware, straws/stirrers and more.

For more information on joining the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup between Sept. 21–29, please go online to ShorelineCleanup.ca.