A pencil sharpener was one unusual item collected by a youth in Canada during the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (Photo Credit: Rebecca Obretenov).

Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the late Jacques Cousteau, led a shoreline cleanup and celebration this past Earth Day (April 22) at Salt Creek Beach in California. When asked why he headed up such an effort, Cousteau told the San Juan Capistrano Patch that “marine debris is becoming one the biggest threats to our oceans … we need to stop using the ocean as a garbage and universal sewer.” We quite agree!

You don’t have to wait for the next Earth Day to be part of the solution for marine debris. Public registration is now open for this fall’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a joint conservation initiative between the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF and presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, which is taking place from Sept. 15-23 along waterways all throughout Canada. You can sign up here either as a participant or a site coordinator. A little effort goes a long way, so take that easy first step by visiting our website.

Open registration isn’t the only reason why May is a great month. Throughout this month, schools, scout groups, and other youth-oriented organizations in British Columbia and Ontario are getting a head start in battling marine debris by participating in the Shoreline Cleanup’s spring educational program. Every year, approximately one third of all registered participants for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup are children and youth, making them among the largest supporters of the program.

The Shoreline Cleanup in both the spring and fall offers educators the opportunity to engage students in applying environmental conservation concepts learned in the classroom to direct action and real life, making the impact of their individual behaviours a reality.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup participants pick up litter along Canada’s shorelines (Photo Credit: Rebecca Obretenov

Participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is one significant way everyone, not just students and youth, can contribute to helping make ocean life more resilient – now and for generations to come.


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