Keep­ing beaches clean

Cleanup sched­uled for In­dian Beach as part of Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tion

Cape Breton Post - - News Northside/cape Breton - BY JEREMY FRASER

A pro­ject aimed at clean­ing marine de­bris from Nova Sco­tia beaches as part of Canada’s 150 cel­e­bra­tions will take place this week in North Syd­ney.

The Nova Sco­tia Her­itage and Marine Stew­ard­ship pro­ject, put on by the Bluenose Coastal Ac­tion Foun­da­tion, will hold marine de­bris clean ups at three Cape Bre­ton beaches in­clud­ing In­dian Beach on Fri­day.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion part­nered with ACAP Cape Bre­ton to host events at In­dian Beach, Do­min­ion Beach and Big Glace Bay Beach.

“We’re re­ally try­ing to tie in an en­vi­ron­men­tal mes­sage into Cana­dian her­itage and the 150th cel­e­bra­tions that are hap­pen­ing this sum­mer,” said Ariel Smith, marine de­bris pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor for Bluenose Coastal Ac­tion Foun­da­tion.

“Our fo­cus for th­ese events is on marine de­bris and pock­ets of pol­lu­tion in the ocean and our coastal ecosys­tem across Nova Sco­tia,” said Smith.

Along with shore­line cleanups, in­for­ma­tion ses­sions will fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness.

The In­dian Beach cleanup will take place from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. on Fri­day.

“It’s not only a cleanup, we’re also go­ing to be talk­ing a lit­tle bit about the his­tory of the beach,” said Caitlin O’Brien, pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor at ACAP Cape Bre­ton. “We have some­one from (Cape Bre­ton Univer­sity)

com­ing out on a boat and he’s go­ing to talk about the im­por­tance of the beach and wa­ter to peo­ple who live in North Syd­ney and Cape Bre­ton in gen­eral.

Smith be­lieves it’s im­por­tant to have th­ese events in coastal com­mu­ni­ties across the prov­ince.

“We in Lunen­burg do a yearly and some­times twice a year cleanup in Ma­hone Bay and we find bags and bags of de­bris,” said Smith. “Un­for­tu­nately de­bris is al­ways washed up, whether it’s our own or washed up from other coun­tries across the At­lantic, it’s al­ways end­ing up along the coastal en­vi­ron­ment.”

O’Brien said ACAP finds many dif­fer­ent things washed up along Cape Bre­ton shore­lines in­clud­ing plas­tic, tires,

bro­ken lob­ster traps, re­fund­ables and cloth­ing.

“If it’s plas­tic, it’s usu­ally wash­ing up be­cause it’s been flushed down the toi­let and out into the en­vi­ron­ment,” she said. “Peo­ple also typ­i­cally go the beach and they might leave some garbage and lit­ter be­hind and we find that as well.”

“Marine plas­tic de­bris is a huge is­sue across the world and un­for­tu­nately it’s only get­ting worse,” said O’Brien. “We like to do th­ese things to kind of re­move the plas­tic and de­bris that poses prob­lems to an­i­mals and peo­ple who use the beaches in gen­eral.”

The pro­ject is funded through the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s Canada 150 fund as well as the prov­ince and the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Nova Sco­tia.

No reg­is­tra­tion is re­quired

to par­tic­i­pate in the cleanup. ACAP Cape Bre­ton will pro­vide res­i­dents with sup­plies for the cleanup in­clud­ing gloves and bags.

O’Brien en­cour­ages mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to take part in the event.

“If you’re some­one who uses the beach a lot or ap­pre­ci­ates nat­u­ral beauty and ap­pre­ci­ates the en­vi­ron­ment, come out and give an hour or two of your time to help us clean it up and help us make a dif­fer­ence for the en­vi­ron­ment,” said O’Brien.

Aside from events at the beach, in­for­ma­tion booths will be in place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the wa­ter­front in Syd­ney.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the cleanup projects in Cape Bre­ton, con­tact ACAP Cape Bre­ton at 902-567-1628.

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRE­TON POST

In­dian Beach in North Syd­ney will be one of three Cape Bre­ton beaches in­volved in the Nova Sco­tia Her­itage and Marine Stew­ard­ship pro­ject. The pro­ject, part of Canada’s 150 cel­e­bra­tion, aims to clean beach coast­lines of marine de­bris as well as to learn more about the his­tory of lo­cal beaches.

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