The 8th annual cleanup of Carter’s Beach, and the adjacent beaches, under the umbrella of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program, is scheduled for 9:30am on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The annual Carter's Beach cleanup is fast approaching, and the organizers are looking for volunteers to come out and help.
The history of the local Carter’s Beach efforts originates from its affiliation to the national environmental cleanup program.
In 1994, a small team of employees and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium decided to clean up a local beach in Stanley Park to help protect the city’s shorelines. They submitted the data collected during this event to the International Coastal Cleanup, a global program managed by the Ocean Conservancy. By 1997, 400 volunteers were participating in 20 sites across British Columbia as part of the Great BC Beach Cleanup.
In 2002, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup emerged as a national program, providing all Canadians the opportunity to make a difference in their local communities. Cleanups started appearing in every province and territory, and by 2003, more than 20,000 volunteers were taking part.
Last year in 2012, the Shoreline Cleanup celebrated its 19th anniversary with more than 57,000 volunteers, including expansion of the cleanup to involve school groups in Ontario and British Columbia. Today, the Shoreline Cleanup is recognized as one of the largest direct action environmental conservation programs in Canada.
The amount of trash and garbage collected at varied shorelines in Canada equals the approximate length of a highway that stretches from the west coast in British Columbia to the Great Lakes. It is more though than just cleaning up the visual blight of discarded litter, noted in part as follows:
• A plastic bottle left on a shoreline may take up to 450 years to break down;
• Many litter items contain harmful toxins that leach and effect water quality;
• Wildlife entangled in litter can sustain long term injuries or even loss of life;
• Shoreline litter can be well hidden and pose safety risks to beach walkers;
• Litter ruins aesthetic values of the natural environment and can negatively effect tourism and business revenue streams;
• Litter reflects badly on us as good stewards of the natural environment; and,
• Litter at beaches does not exhibit sustainable lessons to our children.
After a summer of increasing numbers of visitors and recreational users of Carter’s Beach and area, and despite the Province’s recent surge to designate Carter’s Beach as a Nature Reserve, the amount of litter that continues to accumulate is expanding each year. This year’s cleanup efforts will focus on debris collection within the beach and access areas, but will also include marine cleanup efforts by kayak and motor boats to Spectacle, Port Mouton and Jackie’s Islands.
The local shoreline cleanup volunteers hope to expand the number of participants this year and are reaching out to local Queens County and South Shore area residents for support. All local provincial party candidates have been invited to participate in the cleanup as volunteers, as have Mayor Christopher Clarke and the local councilor for the area, Darlene Norman.
It is envisioned that the cleanup will take 2-3 hours to complete.
Volunteers are asked to bring along a pair of work gloves and appropriate footwear. The meet up is set for the parking lot at the end of Carter’s Beach Road at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 28t A limited prize draw for the volunteers and a participant team photo will round out the end of the clean-up activities.
For further information, please contact Robert Ross, the cleanup coordinator at (902) 947-2113.