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We love hearing from Shoreline Cleanup volunteers across the country, especially when those cleanups celebrate local collaborations that bring community members closer together. We caught up with Nicole (Shao Ching) Tseng of the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS) and found out about the five cleanups they led over the spring season in Prince Edward Island, and how teamwork was a key ingredient.

Why are shoreline cleanups important?

Shoreline cleanups are extremely important to our earth and all living beings because water is life. They can be stepping stones to engage people and educate communities, to hopefully show others around the world the tragic effects garbage has on our ecosystems and aquatic wildlife.

What a crowd, more than fifty volunteers removed 500kg of trash from Morrison’s Beach near Georgetown Prince Edward Island.

What groups did you collaborate with this year at your shoreline cleanups?

We first found out about the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup when we collaborated with the Southeast Environmental Association of Prince Edward Island in a previous cleanup season. For this year, we coordinated five cleanups over the spring. We worked with different groups from the local community groups at each cleanup, including our GEBIS volunteers, the Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute, a local bank, the Southeast Environmental Association, participants from a Taiwanese retreat and even the mayor and deputy mayor of Georgetown in Prince Edward Island.

Can you tell us a bit about how collaborating with local groups made your cleanup more impactful?

We believe the saying “many hands make light work” best describes the cleanups that we were so grateful to be a part of this year. Even the smallest contributions have a big impact, and our cleanups were big contributions so we know they will have an amazing impact on the environmental issues we face today. Working with various local groups allowed us to gain new relationships, new perspective and certainly lots of knowledge. Each group had something to contribute, and we all worked together to complete five successful shoreline cleanups in just two months. It gave all who participated hope for the future. Each person left with a big smile knowing they helped the earth today, just by picking up trash.

Thanks to 147 volunteers, Parkers Beach in Georgetown PE is looking clean and beautiful and had a special visit from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Did you find any unusual items on your cleanups?

We found some tires, beach chairs and life guard vests.

 Is there anything else you’d like to share about your shoreline cleanup experience?

We appreciate those that have chosen a path that is dedicated to our environment, oceans and overall care for our earth. By working together, we will make a difference and continue to make the beautiful Prince Edward Island even more beautiful.

Looking to engage your community? Cleanups are perfect for all ages.

Now it’s your turn to rally your community. Lead a shoreline cleanup near you, anywhere land connects to water.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. Find out more at

Posted September 8, 2017 by Vancouver Aquarium

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