Volunteers sought to get hands dirty to protect Oldman River Basin

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup - Saturday, Sept 20, 2014

Shoreline litter is one of the most widespread pollution problems endangering our waters, but it is completely preventable.  In an effort to raise public awareness as well as combat the issue directly, the Helen Schuler Nature Centre (HSNC) and the Oldman Watershed Council (OWC) are partnering to organize a public shoreline cleanup to improve the aquatic health of the Oldman River basin.  Volunteers are invited to join the effort and do their part to remove debris from our most precious of resources – our watershed.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, the event aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups.  “The Shoreline Cleanup serves as a reminder of how human activity can damage our ecosystem,” says David Miller, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. “Shoreline litter is one of the biggest threats to the health of our rivers, lakes and oceans. Participating in these cleanups is a perfect way for people to get involved in their local community while tackling this important issue.” 

This project is in conjunction with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup which expects 58,000 participants across Canada.  Since 2002, the nation-wide effort has removed more than 1 million kilograms of litter from shorelines across Canada.  Based on data collected in 2013, there was an average of 21.2 kilograms of litter removed per kilometer of shoreline cleaned.  

The most common items removed are: smoking-related (34%); single use food and beverage items (31%); and tiny pieces, including: foam, glass, plastic (22%).

“We are all downstream,” remarks Curtis Goodman, Resource Development Coordinator at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre, “we need to remember that we all have a part in maintaining clean, fresh waterways.  Shoreline cleanups are a great opportunity to be outside connecting with nature, while also providing an eye opening experience as to how litter impacts our ecosystems.”  Even in small amounts, shoreline litter can leach harmful chemicals into the water, be accidentally eaten by wildlife, injure or entangle aquatic animals.

This year’s shoreline cleanup effort will take place on Saturday September 20th from 2:00pm until approximately 4:00pm.  Interested participants are asked to meet at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre for a quick orientation and supplies (gloves, garbage bags, snacks, drinks); be sure to bring closed-toed sturdy footwear, clothing that can get dirty, and a hat.  To register, please contact Curtis Goodman at 403-320-4985.  To organize your own shoreline cleanup please visit ShorelineCleanup.ca

Please share this poster with your contacts and invite them to join you!
 It's a fun family event that teaches children about 
the importance of caring for our watershed together.