More than 100 pounds of garbage cleaned off Harrison shoreline

Annual event nets diapers, sleeping bags

A successful Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup was held in Harrison Hot Springs on Saturday, September 24, 2011 to celebrate B.C. Rivers Day.

Sixteen people actively picked up garbage while many others helped by providing cleanup supplies, setting up and taking down and providing refreshments.

In all, 109 pounds of trash was removed from the shoreline of Harrison Lake and Lagoon. The most common litter came from shoreline recreation and smoking-related activities with an astounding 1,022 food, toy and clothing items and 2,323 tobacco-related ones. Unfortunately the smoking related materials are up 2.77 times above the 2010 count.

Plastic bags were more abundant this year too. This is troubling as, once in the lake, they make their way into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating debris field the size of the province of Quebec in the North Pacific.

The participants also collected a beer-soaked sleeping bag, 3-flipflop shoes and 2-baby diapers.

Both the Miami River Streamkeepers and the Bear Awareness Network of the Fraser Valley provided educational displays and pamphlets. Information on the Blue Flag Beach Program, an international environmental standard sought by the Village for the Harrison Hot Springs beach area, was also exhibited. Many visitors and locals viewed the displays and all expressed a strong interest in a healthy environment.

A big “thank you” is in order to the Miami River Streamkeepers, the Harrison Communities in Bloom, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs staff and public works crew, Cornelis Loos for technical assistance and many other members of the public who participated.

Thankfully a lot of trash is now removed from our beach and on its way to a recycling depot or landfill. Can you imagine what the area would look like without the daily efforts of so many Harrison residents plus the Village works crew picking up trash routinely? A big thanks goes to these folks too.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Harrison Lagoon and Foreshore Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and especially those sixteen brave souls who did the task of pick up. It was an admirable way to celebrate BC River’s Day.

• Janne Perrin is the Site Coordinator for the Harrison Lagoon and Foreshore Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.