Shoreline cleanups, aka the act of cleaning up the litter near a body of water, are a really great way for ANYONE to make a positive change in their community. Why are they so great you ask?Shoreline cleanups:
-stop trash from making its way into the ocean
-keep the community looking clean and feeling like a good place to live
-encourage people to get outside for some fresh air (which can reduce anxiety and boost your mood)
-are an easy way for people to get involved and contribute to citizen science!
Although the word “shoreline” might bring to mind sandy beaches, shoreline cleanups can actually be done anywhere – beachfront, near a lake or river, or even in a field. The truth is, much of the litter that you might find inland will eventually make its way to the sea.
Before you head out with a bucket and a pair of gloves, consider registering your cleanup over at the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup website. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a partnership between Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, and essentially uses data from what YOU collect to conduct their research. This means that you mark down where you’re going to clean up and when. During your cleanup, you must keep track of what kinds of litter you find (from the tiny pieces of plastic to Styrofoam take-out containers and everything in between). Finally, you enter your “citizen science” data in their website. Data from your cleanup will join data from over 27,800 other cleanups, and inform research. This research has actually produced concrete results, like Canada’s upcoming single-use plastics ban (read their most recent annual report to learn more).
In the future, we hope to host some Know North Shore-wide cleanups! For now, please continue leading cleanups individually or with your small household bubble, per your local COVID-19 restrictions. See you out there!