The accumulation of plastics and other pollution in the Atlantic Ocean and in waterways around the world is becoming a real problem.
Volunteers gathered at Alderney Landing in downtown Dartmouth on Saturday morning to mark World Oceans Day with a cleanup of the shoreline as part of the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up, and there was plenty of trash to be gathered.
Shannin Timpa showed up with her daughters Ariel and Cheyenne to volunteer and spend some time giving back to the community and environment.
“Today we’re picking up lots of garbage,” said Timpa. “We’ve found plastic and styrofoam and of course lots of cigarettes and we found some batteries and lot of cardboard.”
They wanted to do their part and clean up the shoreline because they’re animal loves at heart, and wanted to keep the ocean clean and it was a chance to learn.
“They’re being educated as well as having some fun and it’s nice family time, and so it’s positive overall,” said Timpa.
The Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up is a group that runs cleanups all across the province. For World Ocean Day, they decided to come back to the Dartmouth landing for a second round of cleaning.
“There was actually a cleanup here about a month ago and so we weren’t sure how much (litter) we would be getting, but we actually got a lot more than I was expecting,” siad program co-ordinator Carolyn Wilson.
And it’s a good thing the trash was being picked up again, as they gathered 12 bags in all before the noon hour.
“It hurts the heart a little bit when you see all these animals that are just trying to live their lives and you see the ocean being filled with more and more plastic all the time,” said Wilson.
Organizers estimate that 80 per cent of the plastic that is found in the ocean is land-based, and it’s clear from what the volunteers are picking up that this trash problem could be easily avoided.
“I just thought it’s absolutely insane, there are garbage cans all around, everywhere,” said Liam Tomlinson, 18, who was volunteering his time. “But still people decide to litter on these rocks…I just don’t see the point in it at all.”
The cleanup was a success with most of the items being picked up included coffee cups, cigarette butts, plastic bags, and fast food containers.