In 2017, volunteers coordinated 1,546 cleanups and collected 71,232 kg of litter on 12,944 km of Canadian shoreline.
The real environmental challenge occurs when litter ends up somewhere it really shouldn't, like your local shoreline. It might be that place where you go birdwatching, have a picnic with your family, or walk with friends. Rivers, lakes, streams, storm drains and beaches are all connected, so litter at your shoreline can be transported far away from where it began.
But out of sight is not out of mind. And whether deliberately dumped or accidentally dropped, litter can have devastating consequences for wildlife. Animals mistake litter for food or become entangled in rope, string and nets. Litter can transport invasive species, or introduce dangerous toxins into an ecosystem. Plastic litter can degrade into tiny invisible pieces called microplastics, that are impossible to pick up, but have dramatic impacts on wildlife.
We are building a community of shoreline cleanup leaders across Canada who are committed to taking real action. Together, this community knows that there is power in positive action, and that a cleanup can be the first step toward real, lasting change.