In a single day this September, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup team witnessed a truly remarkable event for shorelines and wildlife — a first in our national cleanup’s more than 20 year-history.
During Centennial College’s Paint the Town Green events in celebration of its 50th anniversary, 10,000 volunteers got involved with shoreline cleanups across 11 major parks in Toronto. All classes were cancelled for the day making shorelines, parks and student participation a top priority.
This isn’t the first year Centennial College participates in our national cleanup. In fact, site coordinator and teacher Michael Gauthier has been leading shoreline cleanups with their Environmental Student Society since 1999, officially joining the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in 2003. Michael explains that “The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups has helped us connect in an ongoing fashion with each other locally and across Canada, for the benefit of our natural areas.” So when it came time to plan the College’s 50th anniversary events, he knew shoreline cleanups would be the perfect fit.
At the end of that day more than 4,000 kg of trash had been removed — including a telescope, a possible first for any shoreline cleanup. Site leader of the Morningside Park cleanup, Lindsay Porter, witnessed first-hand the educational value of the day, “The most important part of the shoreline cleanup is to educate people about keeping the earth clean. People may not care when they litter, but hopefully by participating in clean ups, they realize that when they throw garbage away it doesn’t just disappear.”
We’re so proud of Centennial College for bringing together their entire college community, including their international partner schools. Litter and debris have become a critical issue in waterways across Canada but with the help of Shoreline Cleanup leaders like Centennial College we will continue to strive towards a healthier future for our rivers, lakes and oceans across the country and globe.
Feeling inspired by Centennial College’s example? Join us by starting a cleanup at your local shoreline.
Aquablog by Susan Debreceni, outreach specialist, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited and supported by Ricoh Canada and YVR, is a joint conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada. Find out more and start your own cleanup at www.shorelinecleanup.ca.