A dirty job, but one that's needed ... shoreline clean-up
by Sandy Lindsay

September 24, 2015


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Perfect beach weather for feathered friends ...

Scouring for garbage

It was thumbs up for trash for these volunteers!

The Planeteers of Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) in Port Elgin and volunteers from the community and town staff, headed down to the beach on Wednesday, September 23rd (2015) for their annual fall shoreline clean-up.

The group of young student environmentalists, along with geography teacher, Nancie Darlington-Smith, scoured the beach picking up garbage and cigarette butts. 

Nancie Darlington-Smith explains tallying garbage results to Austin Hardwick

These Planeteers were ready to head out
(L) Kyra Smith, Danny Morse and Maddie Hobson

Teacher Nancy Darlington-Smith also gave the group a short lesson on the beach grasses that are found there.  "These beach grasses," she explained, "were transplanted from Southampton Beach by our group over the last few years.  Without the grasses to collect and hold the sand, it would all blow up the streets.  Before they were planted, the beach was pebbles and wet and now it's beginning to look like a beach should ... soft sand and dunes."

Even snakes leave litter as Austin Hardwick found out when he found this abandoned skin

The group worked in teams with one keeping a tracking record of refuse and the cigarette butts were kept and recorded separately.

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

Community Services Director, Jayne Jagelewski was on the hunt ...

... and little escaped her 'eagle' eye

Kate Gilbert (8) single-handedly picked up 225 butts ... nearly 1/5 of the total!

The three largest culprits when it came to the trash collected were cigarette butts at number one (1,180), followed by food wrappers (315) and small plastic pieces (301) along with more unusual items such as a fishing lure, balloons, cigar tips, fireworks, toys, clothing and, of course, the ubiquitous 'plastic' of all kinds.

"Everything we picked up is diverted from the water and enhances the ecosystem and that's a good thing," says Darlington-Smith.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015