Since 1994, there have been 19,400 cleanups that have collected more than 1.2 million kg of trash across Canada’s shorelines.
Organizing a shoreline cleanup is an easy first event for a park group, and many long-term groups do cleanups every year. Your shoreline cleanup won’t just reduce pollution that reaches our lakes and oceans – it will also help you build relationships and foster community pride. Also, you’ll help raise awareness of the major sources of litter in your community by keeping a record of what you collect. By leading cleanups, you can be part of the solution.
Last year more than 35,000 tiny plastic pieces and 38,000 plastic bags were collected across Canada, which shows our connection to the global issue of plastic pollution.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a nationwide conservation initiative supported by the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada. They offer support to anyone who would like to coordinate a shoreline cleanup, including free promotional templates, guides, checklists, profile and national litter data tracking.
What if my park is not on a lake or a river?
If your park connects with water in any way (including creeks, streams, marshes and even storm drains!) then you’ve got a shoreline and you can take part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
Here are some tips from the Shoreline Cleanup to get you started:
Before the Cleanup:
- Visit your cleanup location: Is it suitable? Is it safe? Is there enough litter (big and small)?
- Contact the municipality: Get permission to use the site and arrange waste disposal
- Contact your city councillor, park supervisor, and any other community groups that work in the park to let them know you are interested in doing a park cleanup
- Reach out to local businesses to see if they will provide food and drink like coffee, donuts or pizza and items for giveaways
- Spread the word and recruit volunteers: Visit ShorelineCleanup.ca for posters, tips and other resources
- Register your event: Set a date and find a cleanup site at ShorelineCleanup.ca (you can also propose new cleanup locations in your community!)
During the Cleanup:
- Welcome your participants and have them: form small teams, pick up supplies, review safety and how to record litter data. Don’t forget to give a pep talk!
- Let’s cleanup! Take photos and tweet @Cleanshorelines and @Park_People or instagram @shorelinecleanup and @parkppl. Tag photos #shorelinecleanup
- Wrap up: Weigh the trash, submit data through your mobile phone or collect any printed data cards
- Thank your participants
After the Cleanup:
- Submit your cleanup results through your online account or send by email/mail
- Send in your forms: Email or mail your waiver and photos
For more details on how to lead a cleanup in your community park as Site Coordinator, and for other great resources visit shorelinecleanup.ca/cleanups/getinvolved. Sign up for their e-newsletter here.