A cleanup effort at Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond. (submitted photo)

Shoreline cleanup project needs help in Surrey

World Environment Day-related effort in Canada from June 2 to 5

Surrey has no shortage of shoreline, but nobody to clean it up – at least not during a World Environment Day-related effort next weekend.

Teams across Canada will collect trash from beaches – and anywhere else water meets land – as part of a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, from June 2 to 5.

The initiative, done in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, encourages Canadians to “connect with nature” by leading 150 shoreline cleanups across the country.

But as of Friday, no cleanup events had been organized in Surrey that weekend, and project organizers are hoping someone steps forward with some fellow volunteers.

“There are cleanups registered (in Surrey) during other times of the year,” noted Rachel Schoeler, program manager. “I think there were eight cleanups registered in Surrey for 2017 so far, and last year there were almost 30 for the year.”

It’s easy to get involved, Schoeler said, and a variety of groups do so across Canada – Scouts, Girl Guides, corporate and workplace teams, community groups and others.

“Basically anybody can lead a cleanup by going on to our website (ShorelineCleanup.ca), type in the community where they live, and then it’ll show a whole bunch of locations that have been cleaned in the past. From there, we provide them with additional resources and some tools to help them successfully lead a cleanup and make sure it’s not daunting, to make it easier for them.”

Now in its 24th year, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is billed as Canada’s largest conservation-based cleanup program. Presented by Loblaw Companies Ltd., it’s an initiative of Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada.

The need is real, Schoeler explained.

“It’s crazy how much stuff people find on the beaches, things like cigarette butts, plastic bottles and food wrappers, and how much of it accumulates over a period of a month or even two weeks,” she said.

“It’s really fun, and a great way to get outside,” Schoeler added.

Canada has been selected as host country of this year’s World Environment Day, on June 5.

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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