September 30th marked the date of this year’s fall shoreline cleanup on Lake Windermere! This cleanup is annually held as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which gets volunteers out to clean trash and waste from shorelines all across Canada.
Together, our volunteers collected over 30 lbs. of trash from two public beaches (Kinsmen and James Chabot) for just over an hour on Saturday morning. What a feat! This included 450+ small bits of plastic, string, foam, metal, and rubber; 500+ cigarette butts; 25 bottles/cans/coffee cups; 6 food containers or wrappers; 6 plastic bags; several band-aids, hair ties, and even a diaper. Added to the pile were a few stranger items, including a wooden plank, a rubber tire, a cucumber, tennis balls, lighters, railroad ties, batteries, doggy poo bags, and some fishing tackle.
Cleaning our public beach spaces helps keep our shorelines clean and safe for humans and wildlife, and also reduces the risk of water pollution. The biggest concern we had was with how many cigarette butts were found in the water, sand, gravel, and grass surrounding the beach areas. This has prompted us to look into options for more environmentally-friendly disposal of cigarette butts at our public beaches.
As with all of our programs, we couldn’t do this great work without the help of our volunteers. Special thanks goes out to Katie, Eli, Marilyn, Deanna, Heather, Taoya, Finn, Paul, Cameron, Owen, Susan, Luca, Findlay, and John!