This week, as part of the 2011 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Project Seahorse teamed up with Vancouver Aquarium, WWF Canada, and former NHL star and current WWF ambassador Scott Niedermayer to clean up Vancouver’s Locarno Beach and raise awareness about the importance of coastal stewardship.
“Shoreline litter affects all forms of water,” says Niedermayer, a native of B.C. who won both a Stanely Cup and Olympic gold medal during his 18-year career. “Whether it’s fresh water in the form of a river or the Pacific ocean, we all have to do our part to keep our shorelines clean for us and for future generations.”
In a couple of hours, the team of volunteers and staff from the three organizations gathered approximately 15 kilograms of trash from the beach, conducting media interviews along the way.
“It’s amazing how quickly the small stuff adds up,” says Dr Phil Molloy, a postdoctoral research fellow with Project Seahorse and the Locarno Beach site coordinator. “This area is a well taken care of stretch of shoreline, yet we still managed to collect almost 15 kilos of cigarette butts, pop cans, and other rubbish.”
A joint conservation initiative from the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup presented by Loblaw Companies Limited aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is now one of the largest direct action environmental events in Canada, engaging tens of thousands of participants annually in every province and territory. Each year, the public support and general awareness of the program has increased, inspiring more volunteers to join in to make a difference. In 2010, the Shoreline Cleanup celebrated its 17th anniversary with 47,027 registrants nationwide.
Photo: Jenn Walton/ WWF-Canada