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Last year was a phenomenal one for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. In 2015, we hosted more than 2,000 cleanups, the highest number since the program began in 1994. That’s all thanks to the incredible leadership of volunteer site coordinators from across the country. We are proud to introduce our 2015 recipients of the Site Coordinator Achievement Awards: Erin Yeo of Squamish, B.C. and Maria Fann from Regina Beach, Sask.

New Site Coordinator Winner

Maria Fann

Maria, far right, stirred up a great deal of community support and local media interest while organizing her first Shoreline Cleanup.

Maria, far right, stirred up a great deal of community support and local media interest while organizing her first Shoreline Cleanup in Regina Beach, Sask.

Maria’s enthusiasm about ocean conservation started at a young age. At 11 years old she conducted environmental meetings with her friends and cleaned up nearby canals near her childhood home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Maria has since relocated to Saskatchewan, and while there is no longer an ocean coastline nearby, but decades later, she still recognizes the importance of protecting aquatic habitats of all kinds.

Maria hosted her very first Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup this year. Together, Maria’s cleanup team removed 181 kilograms of trash from Last Mountain Lake in Regina Beach, Sask. She received special prize donations from local businesses to reward her volunteers. Her cleanup received coverage from CTV Morning Live Regina and a visit from the mayor, who even sent a thank you card to Maria following her cleanup.

Maria’s main goal is to raise awareness of the impacts of litter and show how we can all make changes to reduce waste. Congratulations Maria, we’re proud to share your story.

Returning Site Coordinator Winner

Erin Yeo 

Erin has been spearheading cleanups in Squamish, B.C. for five years.

Erin has been spearheading cleanups in Squamish, B.C. for five years — and wears her passion for clean waterways loud and proud.

Erin is passionate about protecting her community’s shorelines. Along with her colleagues at Squamish Terminals, Erin has been a Site Coordinator with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for five years. Over that time, she has inspired more than 1,000 volunteers, collected more than 6,600 kg of trash and removed 735 bags of garbage and recycling. Quite an impressive feat!

This year, nearly 200 volunteers joined Erin to clean the Squamish River estuary, removing an incredible 1,134 kg of trash. She kept the cleanup fun and extremely well organized. She even created “I love my Squamish Estuary” shirts and hosted a BBQ for her volunteers, complete with instructions to bring reusable cups and plates.

We look forward to Erin inspiring volunteers on the shoreline for many more years. Her main goals were to organize a fun community event that would keep the estuary and surrounding area clean while raising awareness of the impact shoreline litter has on that waterway. Mission accomplished — congratulations Erin!

Without the leadership of coordinators like Erin and Maria, shoreline cleanups wouldn’t be the success they are today. We look forward to another amazing year with all of our site coordinators and invite everyone to get involved with a cleanup in their neighbourhod. Registration for the 2016 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup will open in March.

 The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited and supported by Ricoh Canada, is a joint conservation program of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada. Want to get involved? Registration for The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup opens in March.

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