Volunteers clean up Nanaimo beaches

NANAIMO - Nanaimo's Zonta Club will be one of the local groups organizing Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup events.

Nanaimoites will be amongst people across the country cleaning up various beaches and shores as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Nanaimo’s Zonta Club is one of the local groups organizing a cleanup, taking care of Neck Point Park on Saturday (Sept. 21).

According to Zonta site coordinator Barbara Waine, refuse, such as plastic bags and pop can holders, can get into the ecosystem and harm wildlife, while garbage on the shore can become hidden and cause injury to unsuspecting people passing by.

A reconnaissance mission of the area last Sunday with her spouse revealed various pieces of debris.

“We saw a few plastic or foam containers from food, candy wrappers but one thing we saw, on the side of one of the beaches, I guess it’s tsunami debris from Japan – there was a great big, plastic drum,” Waine said.

Volunteers covering Neck Point Park will record data of the garbage collected and the information will be sent to the Vancouver Aquarium.

People wanting to take part in the cleanup can call 250-758-2267 and volunteers showing up on Saturday must register and sign a waiver before the event, which begins 10 a.m.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup began in 1994 when a small group of aquarium employees got together and cleaned up a beach in Stanley Park. It has evolved into a national program with more than 57,000 volunteers in 2012.

For information on other cleanups in Nanaimo, please go to www.shorelinecleanup.ca/en/search/cleanups/fall2013.