By Jill Dwyer, program manager for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

When participants of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, scoured shorelines over the last few years during annual cleanups (coordinated by Vancouver Aquarium and WWF), they were expecting to find the usual suspects – cigarette butts, food wrappers/containers, and plastic shopping bags, among other items. What they weren’t expecting to find were a list of quirky items that included a payphone, a hospital bed and even a wedding dress!

Among the unusual items found during shoreline cleanups – a wedding dress!

No matter what form it comes in, shoreline litter and pollution puts ecosystems, wildlife and people at risk. Marine debris can negatively impact water quality through contamination, as well as the health of plants and animals that live in that ecosystem.

Local wildlife run the risk of getting tangled in or ingesting litter or other pollutants. Shoreline litter can create danger for people as well, and cause economic damage to areas that rely on tourism or water-based industries, like fishing.

The good news is that you can be part of the solution to keep shorelines healthy for everyone. Sign up at to participate in one of Canada’s largest direct action cleanup efforts from September 15-23, 2012 – right in your own community. Adopt a local shoreline as a site coordinator, or volunteer with an existing cleanup. You never know what you’ll find – perhaps you’ll be the one to find the next most unusual litter item!

Below is a sampling of unusual items found in various provinces throughout Canada during last year’s Shoreline Cleanup:

British Columbia:

  • Men’s underwear
  • False teeth
  • Fully decorated Christmas tree
  • Animal cage
  • Lawnmowers
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Bag of prisoner’s belongings
  • Urn
  • Burnt bed frame
  • Playstation


  • Payphone
  • Motorcycle frame
  • Shopping carts
  • Skateboard
  • Men’s underwear
  • Rice cooker
  • Wedding dress
  • Hospital bed
  • Swimming pool
  • Pregnancy test


  • Baby stroller
  • Inflatable raft
  • Leather whip
  • Shopping cart
  • Water trampoline
  • Steel bed frame
  • Lawn mower with no motor
  • Chain saw
  • An entire campsite (tent, sleeping bags, BBQ grill, pillows, clothes, food, and cooler)
  • “Buzz Lightyear” doll


  • Stove
  • Wooden bench
  • Stroller
  • Passport
  • Barbeque Grill
  • Microwave
  • A safe
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hockey stick
  • Shopping cart

Nova Scotia:

  • Broken lawn chair
  • Voodoo doll
  • Children’s sled
  • Car hood
  • Fireworks
  • Barbeque grill
  • Fawn skeleton


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.