Many of Green Marine participants actively took part in The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup by organizing initiatives on International Shoreline Cleanup Day, or by supporting other local events with neighboring partners during the months of September and October.
Here’s an overview of the various efforts by our members towards re-establishing cleaner waterfronts… the ones we know about anyway!
On September 24, 11 employees from ABC Recycling joined four other helpers from a neighbouring business to clean up waste and recycling in the Byrne Creek area of Burnaby, British Columbia. They were able to collect more than 2,000 pieces of trash weighing a total of 308 kilograms (680 pounds) of garbage and 33.5 kg (74 lbs) of recyclables. The oddest item found was a vacuum cleaner head. Small pieces of plastic and cigarette butts accounted for the most items collected. ABC Recycling has been involved in The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for the past 20 years.
Cleanup efforts take place every spring and fall at Algoma. Volunteers from Algoma’s shoreside office cleaned up litter along the Welland Canal on October 9 between Locks 2 and 3. They collected 60 bags of garbage. In April, the local Pitch-In Day cleanup initiative led to 32 bags of litter being gathered, also between Locks 2 and 3. During the cleanup, members of the community expressed their gratitude by honking their car horns and cheering on the volunteers throughout the morning. One person even dropped off coffee and donuts. The Algoma Community Involvement Committee organized both the spring and fall cleanup days.
Hundreds of British Columbia Ferry Services employees from across the province participated in shoreline cleanups during the summer to help keep B.C.’s beaches clean. Employees from Haida Gwaii, the Southern Gulf Islands, Northern Gulf Islands, Comox and Campbell River, the Sunshine Coast, Victoria and Metro Vancouver all took part and gathered 1,725 kgs (3,802 lbs) of garbage, covering 50 kilometres (31 miles) of shoreline. Approximately 330 employees volunteered to help in 20 separate cleanup events throughout B.C. Some of the items retrieved by employees included a baby stroller, various car parts, and a can of ham!
On September 19, employees from CSL Group’s Montreal office helped to clean up the shores of Charron Island in the St. Lawrence River as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup organised by Ocean Wise and WWF. Over the course of the effort, teams of volunteers collected and documented trash that included non-biodegradable items such as cigarette butts, coffee cup lids, plastic, Styrofoam and other items – everything from blankets to construction materials to hockey sticks. Altogether the volunteers collected more than 600 items weighing 200 kg (440.9 lbs). The shoreline was particularly littered with debris because of recent high-water levels that have since receded. This was the CSL Groups’ seventh participation in The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
Port of Montreal, Fednav, Logistec, and Urgence Marine
At the invitation of the Port of Montreal, approximately 100 employees mobilized from Logistec, Termont, Yara, Fednav and Urgence Marine for a big cleanup effort on September 15 at Contrecoeur. A total of 278 kg (612 lbs) of garbage was collected – including 36 cubic meters of of recyclable. To make the day even more memorable, the Port of Montreal organized guided bus tours of the Logistec and Yara terminals at Contrecoeur, as well the nesting boxes set up for sand martins. The volunteers found numerous junk items, including tires, wheels, barrels, oars, and even a windsurfing board and a scrapped car. This marks the first time the Port of Montreal has organized such a major volunteer cleanup, and it definitely plans to repeat the experience.
Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority
Various partners at the Port of Hamilton come together during the port’s annual Team Up to Clean Up day to deal with trash at several locations along port property and throughout the community. The most recent Team Up to Clean Up event was held last April 26. The port’s staff and partners collected 100 bags of garbage. Since 2014, more than 770 bags of trash have been gathered in all through the Team Up to Clean Up efforts.
Nanaimo Port Authority
On June 8, the Port of Nanaimo teamed up with the City of Nanaimo, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Snuneymuxw First Nations to host a World Oceans Day event. The day was filled with different activities for various ages, starting with a beach cleanup that involved community members volunteering to clean up the beaches around Nanaimo’s harbour. Other activities stretched from the harbour shoreline south of the Nanaimo Yacht Club, and from the local park to Savsutshun. The port also teamed up with Sundown Diving and Nanaimo Dive Outfitters to retrieve trash from the bottom of the marina. ln just two hours, the team collected seven bins of garbage!
Port Saint John
On September 21, Port Saint John supported a cleanup of the historical and uninhabited Partridge Island south of Saint John, New Brunswick. ACAP-Saint John, River Bay Adventures, DMK Marine and a few other volunteers set out by kayak to clean up Partridge Island as part of International Coastal Cleanup Day. Port Saint John supported the event by providing lunch to all the volunteers. Almost 200 kg (440 lbs) of garbage and debris were collected from the 18 km2 (almost seven square mile) island during this first-ever clean-up. Numerous beer cans and plastic wrappers formed a large portion of the collected trash.
Some 150 volunteers showed up on September 11 for Squamish Terminals 9th annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. The volunteers cleaned up approximatively 25 km (15.5 miles) of the Squamish Estuary and Oceanfront lands and collected 540 kg (1,190 lbs) of garbage and recycling to fill 62 garbage and 34 recycling bags. The Top 5 unusual items collected were: patio lights, a boat cover, flip flops, a baby’s hat, and a car speaker.
More on the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
Spearheaded by Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada (two Green Marine supporters), the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a national conservation program that provides Canadians with the opportunity to take action in their communities wherever water meets land – one piece of trash at a time. In 2019, volunteers coordinated 2,609 cleanups and collected 117,503 kg (259,049 lbs) of litter on 4,618 km (2,869 mi) of Canadian shoreline.