Group getting ready to tidy up the tide

Shoreline cleanup part of an international awareness effort

By Niomi Pearson – Ladysmith Chronicle

On Sept. 17, a group of dedicated volunteers will storm Kin Beach in Chemainus for the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Armed with plastic bags and trash sticks, the volunteers will pick up the littered remains of summer vacation off the sand and pebbles and into the garbage bin where it belongs.

Chemainus site co-ordinator Arlene Robinson said more than 20 people came out to the event last year, which has been organized by the Chemainus Neighbourhood House Association for the last three years.

“We cleaned up the whole of Kin Beach and we had all kinds of interesting things, even a gigantic, and I mean gigantic battery from a fish boat,” she said. “It was so big it took four people to pull it up and put it in with the other stuff.”

“How it got dumped on the beach we’ll never know… maybe they thought nobody would notice because the tide was out.”

Robinson said it is amazing the stuff that some people throw on the beach, such as broken lawn chairs, chunks of metal and plastic containers.

“You’re just not aware of how much garbage is going on to our beaches,” she said.

“People just dump their garbage which is really sad, and pieces of broken glass, you don’t want that for your children.”

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup takes place September 17-25 and is an international effort to help out the environment and keep shorelines free of debris.

“It started in 1994 with just a handful of Vancouver Aquarium employees that cleaned the local shoreline as part of the international coastal cleanup… it spread out B.C.-wide and then in 2002 the program went national,” said cleanup manager Jill Dwyer.

“Then in 2003, and every year since we have had cleanups in every province and territory.”

A big part of the cleanup is education and awareness about the issues surrounding aquatic debris, Dwyer said.

“Our ultimate goal is that we wouldn’t have to hold these cleanups at all anymore, because the shorelines are all clean.”

Every year, cleanup sites are asked to compile data on the type of items they are removing from the beach. From that, a ‘dirty dozen’ list is created based on the number of reoccurring offenders.

“Cigarettes butts are at the top of that almost every year,” Dwyer said. “Year after year, what we see is that the majority of the garbage originates from land, and from things like recreational activities —food wrappers, plastic bags, plates, cans, bottles, cups, knives…”

For the first time since 2003, there are no cleanups arranged in the Ladysmith area. Last year, a cleanup was organized for Transfer Beach park and in 2009, there was a cleanup at Ladysmith Harbour, and there have been numerous cleanups prior.

Dwyer said there is still time to co-ordinate a cleanup, but the deadline to register a site is September 14. To find out more information or to register, visit or call 1-877-427-2422

For those interesting in helping out with the Kin Beach cleanup, it starts at 11 a.m. on September 17, rain or shine. Volunteers should dress according to the weather and bring a few plastic shopping bags, a trash grabber (if possible) and gloves, though latex gloves will be provided on site. Hot chocolate and coffee will also be served.

“The more people the merrier, the faster it goes, and it’s wonderful because it makes people aware of what’s happening at our beaches,” Robinson said. “It  doesn’t matter if it’s raining or not, we’re out there because it’s once a year and it’s the only real beach that we have here that’s accessible and a lot of people use it, including tourists.”

Just Posted

Caps fall to Clippers in Nanaimo on Friday night

Clippers’ tying and winning goals come in less than a minute

Cowichan school district approves women’s winter shelter

The Cowichan Valley School District’s board of education has approved in principle… Continue reading

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

Ladysmith Secondary School improv still groovy after 20 years

Catch performances Nov. 15th, 16th, 17th and 22nd, 23rd and 24th

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read