Now that we're going outside again, we're bringing our garbage with us

After a four-month hiatus, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is once again asking volunteers to help restore the natural beauty of our shorelines.

There’s been another victim of the novel coronavirus: Canada’s shorelines.

An estimated 84,000 kilograms of litter have accumulated since the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup was suspended as part of the shutdown, says Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada.

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Back in March, the two organizations asked volunteers to cancel or postpone their efforts to clean up the shores of their oceans, rivers and lakes as a way of protecting volunteers’ safety.

It’s now time to return to shorelines with gloves on hand and garbage bags at the ready, they say. However, it’s also time to go solo or, at the very least, in much smaller groups.

“We want everyone to stay safe as we get back outside and protect our waters,” a press release from the Vancouver Aquarium says. “The safety of Shoreline Cleanup volunteers is our first priority and, to help us with this, the program has prepared a checklist for solo, household and small team cleanups to guide volunteers through each stage of the cleanup: before, during and after.”

Participants are asked to register their family, solo effort or small group and join #TeamShoreline. Register and find the checklist here.

Martha Perkins is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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