The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup began with single act of caring 25 years ago. Concerned about the impact of litter on wildlife, a group of Vancouver Aquarium employees banded together to clean the shores of Stanley Park. Since then, more than 1.2 million kilograms of garbage has been prevented from entering rivers, lakes and oceans across the country where it could potentially harm fish and frogs, sea birds and sea turtles.
You can help stop a million more by leading a shoreline cleanup.
Over the course of the last 25 years, nearly 800,000 volunteers have cleaned 33,740 kilometres of Canada’s freshwater and marine shorelines – the equivalent of circling the Great Lakes three times – and helped make Shoreline Cleanup one of the country’s biggest volunteer conservation efforts.
Thanks to you, 625,747 beverage bottles and 715,497 plastic bags were removed from our environment, along with enough plastic straws and stirrers to reach the bottom of Mariana’s Trench five times over. Shockingly, that’s just skimming the surface of a much deeper problem.
While Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup continues to grow, so does the amount of plastic in our waters. Plastic pollution is found in every single ocean – even in the sparsely populated Arctic, plastic is leaving its mark. The Great Lakes have a higher microplastics density than the oceans. At this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
Don’t let garbage replace wildlife
While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a problem the size of an ocean gyre, cleaning up our shores is something you can do right now with a big impact for wildlife. Help us celebrate Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s 25-year anniversary by leading a cleanup in your community anytime. Or take part in our monthly Cleanup Challenges and get recognition for your efforts:
- May: Schools, Scouts, Girl Guides and youth groups
- July: Community groups and teams
- September: Workplaces
- October: Campuses
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation partnership by Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, is one of the largest direct-action conservation programs in Canada. Presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, it aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate Canada’s shorelines through cleanups.