Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in Ottawa

Written by Denise Deby; thanks to Ashley Brasfield for information and links.

Image courtesy Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
Image courtesy Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Plastic bags, food wrappers, bottles, cigarettes—and bathtubs, bowling balls and kitchen sinks: these are all items that have been retrieved from beside rivers and lakes during the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

At the Shoreline Cleanup, volunteers come together to clean up the garbage that collects next to waterways. And there’s a lot of it. Last year, participants across Canada removed over 136,000 kilograms of litter from over 20,000 kilometres of shoreline.

This year, the Shoreline Cleanup is celebrating its 20th anniversary, with cleanups running from September 21 to 29, 2013.

There are quite a few cleanups planned for the Ottawa-Gatineau area—you can see a list and map at Many events are still looking for volunteers, so check it out if you can.

The launch of the Shoreline Cleanup in Ottawa is on Saturday, September 21 on the Ottawa River by the Rideau Canal, below Parliament Hill (meet starting at 8:15 a.m. behind the Bytown Museum). Everyone is welcome and there’ll be refreshments and a chance to win prizes.

The organizations behind the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, WWF and the Vancouver Aquarium, say that shoreline litter is a serious environmental issue, harming wildlife, ecosystems and the quality and health of our water.

Removing that litter is part of the effort needed to protect our waterways, along with measures such as reducing the waste we produce, preventing pollutants from entering the ecosystem and ensuring that waterways are monitored and protected.

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