Last year over 54,000 volunteers participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited. These cleanups could not happen without the dedicated site coordinators who lead and organize each event. Site coordinators organize cleanups big and small from coast to coast and, more often than not, we see them coming back year after year to continue cleaning up their communities.

We wanted to highlight a few of these site coordinators to find out what makes them passionate about keeping waterways litter free.

Lee-Anne Walker, Cleanup site: Elk River, B.C.

Why do you take part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup?

Shoreline cleanups are a simple and tangible way to make a difference to our watershed. Anyone and everyone can do something and feel a collective sense of accomplishment. It promotes thinking like a watershed and passing on the effects of caring downstream to our neighbours.

How long have you been involved in the program?

I have been coordinating the Elk River shoreline cleanup since 2011.

Where do you clean up?

We collected garbage along 70 kilometres of shoreline between Elkford and Elko.

What’s the strangest item you’ve found?

We found a washing machine drum pushed over a bank near the highway.

Site coordinators for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Lee-Anne paddling the mighty Columbia River.

Jhubel Canilanza, Cleanup site: English Bay, Vancouver BC

Why do you take part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup?

Shoreline Cleanups are important to me because the ocean is the largest life support system on Earth. I believe that healthy water systems means healthy individuals and a safe environment. That is why we need to step-up and take care of our shorelines.

I am a student of Visayas State University in the Philippines, a school that is dedicated to taking care of our environment. As a nursing student, I look at every aspect of health and believe that a healthy environment means a healthy individual.

How long have you been involved in the program?

I found out about the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup last year, and in 2015 I registered as a site coordinator to launch my first cleanup on May 9.

How much garbage did you collect? About 38 kilograms.

What’s the strangest item you’ve found? A stuffed toy.

Sign up for a shoreline cleanup in Canada

Jhubel on-site at his cleanup event in May.

Like Lee-Anne and Jhubel, you can organize a Shoreline Cleanup in your community too. To register an event visit shorelinecleanup.ca, or search the Shoreline Cleanup map to join an event taking place near you.

Know an amazing site coordinator who deserves to be recognized? Nominate them for the Site Coordinator Achievement Award. Winners are profiled on the website, and receive a gift package and certificate. Self-nominations are also accepted so don’t be shy! Nominations are open until December 1, 2015.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a joint conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited and supported by Ricoh Canada. You can take a stand against shoreline litter in your community by signing up for a cleanup in your neighbourhood today.

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