April 22, 2015 11:21 ET

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Asks Canadians to Do Their Part on Earth Day and Beyond

TORONTO, ON and VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - April 22, 2015) - With 71 per cent of our planet covered in water, it makes sense to focus on the health of our waterways during Earth Day 2015 -- and beyond. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a great way for Canadians to make a difference all year-round by keeping litter out of our aquatic ecosystems. It's the country's largest direct action conservation initiative, organized by the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada, and presented by Loblaw Companies Limited.

"Litter and debris have become a critical issue in all of Canada's waterways, from lakes and rivers to every ocean coastline. The need for action has never been more urgent," said Le Souef. "This year, we're expanding our program and encouraging Canadians to 'adopt' a shoreline: to register for a shoreline in their community and to clean it up with the turn of each season."

Unfortunately, examples of the impact our trash has on our waterways are plentiful: the pygmy sperm whale that washed up in Halifax Harbour last fall with plastic lodged in its stomach; plastics, including microplastics that threaten fish and birds in the Great Lakes; and marine debris entangling sea lions on the B.C. coast, to name only a few.

"The problem of shoreline litter and its impact on our aquatic environments is one that only continues to grow," said Kate Le Souef, manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. "Human activity is causing the problem, so it's up to each of us to help."

Action is needed, now more than ever, which is why the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup takes place throughout the year. Registration is online at

Last year the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup mobilized more than 54,000 Canadians at over 1,800 cleanup sites from coast to coast. Volunteers picked up almost 140,000 kilograms of debris -- enough trash to fill 70 dump trucks. The most widely collected litter items included: plastic and paper bags, cigarettes/cigarette filters, food wrappers and containers, caps and lids, glass and plastic beverage bottles, beverage cans, disposable flatware, straws/stirrers, tobacco packaging and building materials.

"We've picked up an astounding amount of litter since we first began cleaning shorelines in 1994, but there's always more to do," said Le Souef. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup now takes place year-round and Canadians are invited to "adopt" a shoreline: register as a site coordinator for a shoreline in their own community, and then return to clean it multiple times throughout the year.

Be part of the solution by organizing a cleanup at your local shoreline today via

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups.

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a non‐profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life.

WWF-Canada is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive.

Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unit holder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

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