Volunteer registry launched

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is launching a volunteer signup registry to help address the arrival of Japanese tsunami debris.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is launching a volunteer signup registry to help address the anticipated arrival of Japanese tsunami debris on Canada’s West Coast.

This new registry will support local, provincial and federal cleanup planning efforts.

People can register at www.ShorelineCleanup.ca to add their name to the registry. As debris arrives and accumulates on shores along the west coast of Canada, registrants will be contacted and activated by local Shoreline Cleanup site co-ordinators with details outlining cleanup locations, dates and times.

“Many people have expressed interest in assisting with local efforts to clean up tsunami debris that is anticipated to arrive along our local coastlines. We are providing a way to connect concerned citizens with local communities needing support,” says Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup manager Jill Dwyer.

The devastating tsunami that hit the Japanese coast in March 2011 washed millions of tonnes of debris into the ocean. It is estimated that up to 1.5 million tonnes of debris may reach the North American West Coast, but it is unknown as to when it will arrive, and in what amount.

Ocean debris poses one of the biggest challenges to our oceans and waterways. Although preventing debris resulting from tragic natural disasters isn’t always possible, there are actions that can be taken to help address the issue.

Participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is one way individuals and groups can directly contribute, helping to make our oceans more resilient — now and for generations to come.

“Ocean debris is a larger issue that goes beyond just one incident,” says Dwyer. “Through direct-action efforts such as the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, individuals, teams and groups can do their part to help keep our waters clean and assist communities who will need this support.”

The Great Canadian Shoreline cleanup has recruited and trained volunteers for the past 19 years, and is best known for its fall cleanup campaign, which, this year, will take place from Sept. 15 to 23.

The cleanup is presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, and jointly led by Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Fund.

Registration is also open for the fall cleanup at www.ShorelineCleanup.ca. Last year, 56,000 Canadians participated in cleanups in 1,600 locations across the country.

For more information about the Vancouver Aquarium, visit  www.vanaqua.org.

For details about the WWF, visit www.wwf.ca.

— Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup