Help keep our waters healthy for everyone
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is about removing shoreline litter to help create healthy waters for everyone, including the wildlife and communities that depend on them. You can make a world of difference by joining Canadians from coast to coast to coast to clean up shoreline litter in your community.
2012 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Fact Sheet
- The cleanups began in 1994, when a small team from the Vancouver Aquarium conducted a local shoreline cleanup in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
- In 2002, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup became a national program, providing all Canadians the opportunity to make a difference in local communities, while taking part in a nationwide event.
- Participants removed 143,737 kg of litter from 3,144 km of shoreline in 2011. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has become Canada’s largest contributor to the International Coastal Cleanup, a global effort to remove harmful litter and aquatic debris from shorelines.
Impacts of Shoreline Litter
- Shoreline litter is a threat to aquatic life and ecosystems – litter can leach harmful chemicals into the water, accidentally be eaten by wildlife and entangle aquatic animals such as otters, turtles and birds.
- Litter travels from hundreds of miles inland. For example, a plastic sandwich bag that blows off a picnic table inland can be washed down a storm drain, river, lake or stream, and be eaten by an aquatic animal.
The 2011 Dirty Dozen List — Most Common Items Found During Cleanup
1. Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters 351,238
2. Food Wrappers/Containers 110,018
3. Bags (Plastic) 71,200
4. Caps, Lids 65,220
5. Beverage Bottles (Plastic, 2 litres or less) 39,308
6. Beverage Cans 36,440
7. Cups, Plates, Forks, Knives, Spoons 34,947
8. Straws, Stirrers 31,770
9. Bags (Paper) 28,987
10. Beverage Bottles (Glass) 26,857
11. Tobacco Packaging/Wrappers 19,082
12. Cigar Tips 18,102
The Shoreline Cleanup has seen over 300,000 individuals across Canada come out to help keep our rivers, lakes and oceans healthy for the communities and wildlife that depend on them.
The national Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, takes place from September 15 to 23, 2012.
The information contained in this post was obtained from ShorelineCleanup.ca