Sunday, June 26, 2011

Canadians, let's go on a treasure hunt!

Getting married soon? Wedding dresses can be expensive but I know where you can find one for free.

Are you a Star Wars Fan? I know were you may find a hidden light sabre.

You're a smoker? Need some more cigarette filters? Follow me and I will show you an abundance.

In 1994 a group from Vancouver Aquarium organised a rubbish clean up at a local beach in Stanley Park. Since then the event has grown to become an annual event known as the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. It is now Canada’s largest contributor to the International Coastal Cleanup, a global effort to remove harmful litter and aquatic debris from shorelines. In 2010, over 47,000 people cleaned 2,235kms of Canada's shoreline. Some of the most common things found within the 11,989 garbage bags weighing 98,071kgs included 227,830 cigarettes and filters, 83,660 food containers and wrappers and 55,880 plastic bags. Some of the stranger things found have been toilet seats, a light sabre and yes...a wedding dress. I do wonder where that bride is!

Apart from rubbish making our beaches and shorelines look messy this rubbish that has been carelessly discarded has a devastating effect on already fragile ecosystems battling oil and contamination spills, increasing human traffic and rising sea temperatures. Food wrappers can smother oceans plants so they can't get ample sunlight for photosynthesis. Six pack rings, rope, wire, monofilament lines, plastic bottle rings and similar items can entangle marine wildlife leading to injuries and death. A plastic bag floating in the water looks a lot like a jellyfish to a sea turtle, but sadly these can clog their digestive track. Polluted beaches are also a safety concern for people and can effect the economy as tourists aren't interested in visiting unsightly beaches.

Although the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean up isn't happening till September, help is needed now. As you can imagine, cleaning up this vast area requires many helpers and site coordinators are currently being sourced. This is a great opportunity for devoted people who in the past have volunteered in environmental events to take the next step of becoming a leader and helping to guide other passionate people.

For all the information, please visit