Pitch In! The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Sept. 15-23

Photo credit: Flickr user craigy_p

Every year, millions of people visit Vancouver’s fair beaches. At the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, September 15-23, a few thousand help tidy up.

The stats are pretty impressive. In 2011, volunteers collected litter from 3,144 km. of Canadian shoreline. That’s 351,238 cigarette butts, 71,200 plastic bags and 39,308 bottles. Weirder items included false teeth, a prisoner’s effects bag and a fully decorated Christmas tree. Get all the dirty details here. But I’m guessing you’re most interested in how to get involved.

In Vancouver, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup kicks off this Saturday, Sept. 15. at locations including Kitsilano Beach at 10am.

Kits Beach volunteers need to sign up and then turn up north of Boathouse Restaurant, off Arbutus Street. All you need to bring is reusable gloves, if you have them. If not, they’ll provide disposable gloves along with trash bags. This clean-up crew will sweep the are from Trafalgar to the Kits Beach Dog Park.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup began in Vancouver in 1994 when a small team of volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium decided to clean up a local beach in Stanley Park.  In 2012, the Shoreline Cleanup is a nationwide program, in partnership with WWF, that reverses the harmful effects of shoreline litter on fragile aquatic ecosystems and people.

There are other clean-up events happening around Vancouver, Sept. 15-23, including cleanups at False Creek, English Bay, Creekside, Iona Beach and Fraser River Park.

Cleanup dates and start times vary. Search the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup event list and sign up here. Have you participated in a Shoreline Cleanup event? Share your experience below!

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