Earlier today, on behalf of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a dive team from the Vancouver Aquarium went underwater off the dock in Cates Park, North Vancouver to scour for marine debris in the Burrard Inlet. They came across a number of litter items – some fairly typical, some unusual, all representing the potential harm that can come from such debris.

The dive was aimed to raise awareness of the need for direct action by volunteers to help clean our waterways. This fall’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a national collaboration between the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, is from Sept. 15-23, and is in need of volunteers to help clean our shorelines to help keep our waters healthy for the communities and wildlife that depend on them. Signing up as a site coordinator or participant is as easy as visiting ShorelineCleanup.ca.

The fall’s cleanup is a land-based shoreline cleanup initiative only, so the underwater dive was really a special one-off event we did to demonstrate the impact of litter. The dive began with the team donning their dry suits and gear:

The debris brought to shore included crab traps – some of which still had live crabs in them! Below, Danny Kent, Vancouver Aquarium’s curator of B.C. waters, returns the last of the crabs back into the ocean:

Other unusual finds included a rusty cell phone and an old generator that was leaking oil and gas into the Burrard Inlet:

If all of this was found during a half-hour underwater dive, imagine the amount of litter that washes up to shore each year. You can directly help your local community by signing up for this fall’s cleanup. There are still many shorelines that need your help, so register today.




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