|Beach on Vancouver Island. Photo by Sue Frause.|
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is celebrating 20 years of shoreline revitalization. The annual fall cleanup across Canada is September 21-29, 2013. A joint project of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup is Canada's largest direct action conservation initiative. More than 42,000 Canadians participate in 1,400+ cleanup sites across the country.
During its 20-year history, an impressive 500,000 volunteers have participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. That's enough people to fill Vancouver's BC Place or Toronto's Rogers Centre more than nine times. Volunteers have cleaned around 21,775 kilometres of shorelines -- the equivalent to crossing Canada three times between Vancouver, BC and St. John's, NL. And they've collected approximately 1.2 million kilograms of shoreline litter -- about the same weight as 259 school buses. Impressive numbers!
But other numbers are more sobering: In 2012, more than 136,000 kilograms of debris was collected along 3,102 kilometres of shorelines. The major items were:
- Plastic and paper bags
- Cigarettes/cigarette filters
- Food wrappers and containers
- Caps and lids
- Glass and plastic beverage bottles
- Beverage cans
- Disposable flatware
- Tobacco packaging
- Building materials