Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and YVR Celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Today, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and over 350 volunteers from across the Lower Mainland joined millions around the globe to celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day, removing over 215 kilograms of litter at Iona Beach Regional Park.

Shoreline litter continues to be one of the biggest threats to the health of our aquatic ecosystems and wildlife. Thousands of volunteers across Canada pitch in every year to keep the country’s shorelines litter-free by participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Today’s cleanup event celebrated volunteers’ efforts, and how they are making a global difference – one piece of litter at a time.

As a part of International Coastal Cleanup Day, the world’s largest volunteer effort to protect the ocean, the litter data collected today will contribute to the international database to help researchers gain insight into other ways to tackle shoreline litter.

“Participating in shoreline cleanups is a great way for people to connect with nature and their community while tackling this important issue,” said Rachel Schoeler, program manager, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. “The passion we witness in volunteers who join us each year on International Coastal Cleanup Day, and every other day of the year, is truly inspiring. We hope this passion will encourage even more Canadians to join us on the shorelines, wherever land connects to water.”

More than 49,000 volunteers across the country have participated or are registered to participate in shoreline cleanups this year. Collectively, volunteers have already removed over 36,000 kilograms of litter from 1,091 Canadian shorelines — and the numbers continue to grow.

“YVR has supported the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for the past six years as part of our ongoing commitment to preserve and protect the environment and our home on Sea Island. We are proud to demonstrate how actions taken locally can have a global impact,” said Marion Town, director, environment, Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR).

Volunteers are encouraged to register to lead or join a cleanup this fall with their friends, family, classmates and colleagues. To participate, visit for more information.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a joint initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada, and is Canada’s largest community-led, volunteer-powered conservation cleanup program.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is grateful for the support of its sponsors, including Loblaw Companies Limited as the presenting sponsor, Ricoh Canada as a national sponsor and OLG and Vancouver International Airport as provincial sponsors. 

About the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

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 and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. 

About the Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative, is one of the world’s leading accredited aquariums, dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life.

About WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. 

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s food and pharmacy leader, the nation’s largest retailer, and the majority unit holder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

About Vancouver Airport Authority

Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada’s second busiest airport, YVR served 22.3 million passengers in 2016. Fifty-five airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 125 non-stop destinations worldwide. In 2016, YVR received CAPA Centre for Aviation’s prestigious Airport of the Year Award and was voted Best Airport in North America for the eighth consecutive year in the Skytrax World Airport Awards in 2017. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2016 donated more than $1,000,000 to local organizations. We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor.

Media Contact

Judy Hsu
Ocean Wise