The 2012 Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up

by BHAVNA SAMTANI, Visual Communications Intern ||

Mae West, a juvenile snapping turtle that was trapped within a plastic ring, ultimately leading to its deformation. (Photo: Audabon Zoo)

Every September, Canadians from across the country head to their local shorelines to help in making it more habitable for wildlife. On September 21st, 2012, staff and volunteers from the Toronto Zoo and other nearby community members will participate in the Loblaw Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, collecting litter from the West Rouge Marshes and Lake Ontario Shoreline.

The implications of shoreline litter are widespread and devastating. Shoreline litter harms ecosystems by interfering with photosynthesis, encouraging the transplantation of invasive species, degrading water quality and interfering in food webs, as organisms may directly ingest pollutants or be impacted by the toxins that are released into the environment. Wildlife also frequently get trapped within pieces of trash.

Fortunately, by promoting the understanding and education of shoreline issues, and by making an effort to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups, we may be able to protect shoreline wildlife.

Adopt-A-Pond coordinates a clean-up each year, and you can create one in your community too. Visit to find or organize a cleanup near you!

Adopt-A-Pond Staff and Bobbers the Blanding’s Turtle clean up the marshes in Rouge Park, Toronto during the 2011 Shoreline Cleanup! (Photo courtesy of Adopt-A-Pond)