Canadians across the country celebrated National Tree Day this week in an effort to appreciate the importance trees have on both our lives and the environment.
Vancouverites are also heading to the water to pick up garbage and debris as part of another environmental program called the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
“It's a conservation initiative between the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF,” explains Jill Dwyer, Manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup at the Vancouver Aquarium. “What we do is we try and encourage Canadians during the third week of September to get out and pick up litter off of their local shoreline.”
Dwyer adds that the initiative, which is in its 18th year, is a way to prevent shoreline debris and litter from entering the water.
“If it gets into the water, that's where it can leach toxic chemicals into the water, it can entangle the animals that live there, they can accidentally swallow it and either choke or falsely think that.”
Another factor is simply the aesthetics of it all. Most people visiting the area prefer not to see things like plastic bags, beverage bottles, food wrappers or cigarettes littering the shore.
“So it's good for the people that live there and it's also good for the animals that live there,” notes Dwyer.
Shoreline cleanups happen in every province across the country this week and can occur at the ocean, a lake, river, stream or marsh.
Visit the Shoreline Cleanup for more information.