On Sunday, Sept. 18, we celebrated yet another successful year of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, with a huge cleanup at Iona Beach in Richmond.

In total, 374 people joined us to cleanup up the beach, removing around 600 kilograms of shoreline litter. This included 143 plastic bags, 86 beverage bottles, 241 cigarette butts, 10 balloons, two tires, thousands of pieces of foam and plastic, and a huge quantity of construction material. Our volunteers were assisted by the helpful Metro Vancouver parks team, who picked up heavier items and disposed of all the material. This year’s weirdest item was a small elephant shaped statue.

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Presenting sponsor Loblaw sent along teams from their local stores to lend a hand.

The event was particularly special for one participant, Catherine Po, who was part of the first ever shoreline cleanup near the Vancouver Aquarium back in 1994. There’s even a photo of Catherine with her young son, Teagan at an early cleanup when the program was still called the Great BC Shoreline Cleanup. On Sunday, Catherine and Teagan joined the cleanup once again, although this time Teagan was a little taller than his mom.

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Then: Catherine and 2-year-old son Teagan (front, in the yellow boots) at an early cleanup.

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Now: Catherine (left) with 18-year-old son Teagan (middle) at Sunday’s event.

The Iona Beach cleanup finished with great prizes from the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada as well as a staycation organized by our provincial sponsor YVR.  All our volunteers who participated were treated to a barbecue, high fives from our mascot BeeBop, educational activities with the Vancouver Aquarium AquaVan team and great music to celebrate another successful cleanup.

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Vancouver Aquarium mascot BeeBop ready to cleanup.

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Teams from provincial sponsor YVR helping to bring in the litter.

More than 2,100 community volunteers have registered their shoreline cleanup in 2016 through our website, representing our biggest year of cleanups to date. And it’s far from over. With cleanups taking place all year round, throughout all seasons, there’s still plenty of time for you to start a cleanup at a local shoreline anywhere in Canada. Get started at shorelinecleanup.ca

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A local Scouts group doing their part for cleaner shorelines.

Aquablog by Kate Le Souef, manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited and supported by Ricoh Canada, YVR and OLG., is a joint conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada. Find out more at www.shorelinecleanup.ca 

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