Time to clean the shoreline in Harrison

Your tossed trash ending up in ocean's garbage patches

It is time for the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in Harrison Hot Springs. The Miami River Streamkeepers Society is hosting a two-hour cleanup from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Sept. 29, B.C.’s official River’s Day founded by Mark Angelo in 1980. Last year in B.C., 24,653 registrants at 747 sites cleaned 1,249.6 km of shoreline.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the cleanup. The shoreline cleanup originated in 1994 when a few people from the Vancouver Aquarium cleaned the beaches around Stanley Park. Shoreline debris is dangerous to people, wildlife and to environmental health.

Although smoking related debris is the most common contaminant, plastic debris from shoreline activities floats in “garbage patches” in all the world’s oceans with the North Pacific gyre being a soup of plastic trash covering an area the size of the province of Quebec.  Every plastic item discarded into Harrison Lake or the Miami River eventually finds it way there. Only 28 pounds of trash was collected from the shoreline of Harrison Lake and lagoon in 2012, compared to 100 pounds in 2011. Since 2012, the Village has dedicated Village workers for trash pickup several evenings a week.

This year the Streamkeepers are expanding the cleanup into the Miami River itself. Some members are providing canoes and kayaks for the task. Launching will be at the south end of Maple Street at the Village’s canoe and kayak site. The Streamkeepers will also have on hand several pairs of chest waders purchased through a Pacific Salmon foundation grant. It was valued at $18,500 and awarded in August 2012 to the Streamkeepers for Greenway Restoration.

Wild Safe BC (formerly Bear Aware) will be joining the Streamkeepers at the Harrison Lake Plaza. Last year their booth generated much interest. The Streamkeepers will display information on stewardship, invasive plants and species of conservation concern.

The top offenders (in order) were cigarettes and filters, food wrappers, plastic bags, cap/lids, glass drink bottles, paper bags, cutlery, drink cans, building materials, straws/stir sticks, plastic drink bottles and cigar tips.

Give up two hours of your time on Sunday, Sept. 29 to assist keeping our shorelines clean. Register at the Harrison Lake Plaza at 10 a.m. All participants must sign a waiver. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring small used bags and gloves. Large garbage bags and disposal gloves are available.

All garbage collected is itemized and weighted, with results submitted to the GCSC. Refreshments available. For more information call Janne Perrin at 604-796-9182 or check our website www.miamiriverstreamkeepers.9k.com.