Getting our waterways shipshape at the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup!

By Hank Jones, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Site Coordinator
Being near Canada’s wild rivers and lakes feels so good! Swim, fish, drink, canoe, dive…whatever – the feeling of wellbeing you gain when you’re near healthy freshwater lakes or streams runs deep. Wouldn’t it be great if all our waterways were in a healthy state? Sadly, the chances of gaining first-hand experience near a wild and healthy Canadian river or lake are growing increasingly slim.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe we all can help bring our waterways back to a pristine state? If everyone took an hour or two, just once a year, to simply pick up litter and inspect shorelines, we could help bring these natural treasures closer to their original healthy state.

hank sept 12
© Hank Jones

The good news is this is happening across Canada, thanks to The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. But the truly great news is that cleanups are happening all around the world. So whether you’re in Ottawa, Mombasa or Bali, Indonesia, keeping up with the Jones’s means grabbing a garbage bag, some gloves and a clipboard and cleaning your way along the shoreline.  Together we are rallying our global community at large, our environmental groups, everyone.
Closer to home, my wife Vera has worked alongside me for years to create greater awareness about the state of the Ottawa River watershed and to promote good stewardship across our community. We’re both very happy to say that our annual shoreline cleanups are family-friendly, all-ages events where we can all be citizen scientists and good stewards by cleaning up our shoreline.
© Michèle Demers

Vera and I will be leading our Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups in Ottawa at Constance Bay Village on Sunday, September 22, 2013 from 1 to 4 pm at Point Restaurant Beach on 346 Bayview Drive. This is one of thousands of events coordinated nationally by the Vancouver Aquarium and World Wildlife Fund between September 21 and 29, 2013.
This year is the 20th anniversary of Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. You can help us celebrate by making a special effort this year by helping keep our waterways clean. Join the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup nearest you today!
If you live in the Ottawa region, register on If you live elsewhere in Canada, consult the Vancouver Aquarium’s site Don’t wait. Sign up today. See you on the shoreline!