Nationwide shoreline cleanup returns for 20th year

Public cleanup scheduled for September 15 at Kin Beach Park in Chemainus.

If discarded cigarette butts and plastic bags strewn across your favourite stretch of waterfront leave you feeling irate, taking part in next month’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) might be the antidote you’re looking for.

The GCSC — a conservation initiative championed by the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF Canada — returns for its 20th year September 21-29 with shoreline cleanups scheduled to take place on rivers, lakes, lagoons and oceanfront beaches nationwide.

Last year’s iteration drew more than 57,000 volunteers to shoreline sites across Canada, resulting in the removal of 136,000 kilograms of trash.

According to the GCSC’s website, that colossal volume of junk consisted of over 400,000 cigarette filters, 98,835 food containers and 69,790 plastic bags, alongside tens of thousands of plastic bottles, caps, lids, straws, stirrers and spoons.

A shoreline cleanup led by Cowichan Neighbourhood House is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Kin Beach Park in Chemainus. Volunteers are welcome to sign up onsite the day of the event and are encouraged to bring gloves and tools if they’re able to.

A “private cleanup” is scheduled for Transfer Beach Park at an unspecified date and time, states the GCSC website. Private cleanups are closed to the public and no public cleanups have been scheduled for the Ladysmith area to date, but members of the public are welcome to sign up to coordinate their own cleanup at a location of their choice.

To find a cleanup near you, visit the GCSC website.