After putting cleanups on hold for nearly four months, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup relaunched to solo, household and small team cleanups. In March, volunteers were asked to cancel or postpone their cleanups to ensure volunteer safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant leaving an estimated 84,000 kilograms of litter on our shorelines.
The Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation partnership of Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, is back up and running and asking for volunteers to help clean Canada’s shorelines. But cleanups will look a little different, because of COVID-19 safety precautions — they will now be done solo or by small groups, although that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. New resources are available to help you plan, with checklists and reminders on where to look for public-health information.
The program is also hoping to reach another milestone by the end of the year: our one millionth citizen scientist! If just over 350 volunteers lend a hand each week in every province and territory the Shoreline Cleanup can reach this goal and help recover the litter that has been left behind.
COVID-19 is still a threat, but nature still needs us, now more than ever. Volunteers can help recover the litter that has been left behind before it makes its way into our waters. Last year was the biggest year in the program’s 26-year history, all thanks to the amazing volunteers
Stay safe while helping our oceans and freshwater
We want everyone to stay safe as we get back outside and protect our waters. The safety of Shoreline Cleanup volunteers is our first priority, and to help 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.
There are many kilometres of shoreline to cover and collect data on across Canada. A shoreline is anywhere that connects land and water — oceans, creeks, streams, rivers, lakes and even storm drains. Volunteers can organize a cleanup close to home, at a local park while socially distancing with a small group of friends or with family during a staycation. But before going out volunteers should refer to the advice of provincial and local public health groups on how to stay safe during COVID-19 and make use of the Shoreline Cleanup checklist. Public health guidelines can help inform appropriate group size, social distancing measures, reopening information, and other important details like how and when to use personal protective equipment.
Register your family, solo or small group to join #TeamShoreline. Year after year, volunteers play a critical role in helping reduce plastic (and other) pollution in coastal and freshwater bodies. Download the checklist to plan your solo, household or small team cleanup and register your cleanup by visiting www.shorelinecleanup.ca.