Keeping beaches clean
Cleanup scheduled for Indian Beach as part of Canada 150 celebration
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.
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.