The Results Are In

Pigeon Lake Shoreline Cleanup Removes Nearly 800 Pounds of Litter

Hats off to the dedicated and hardworking brigade of volunteers who swept the beaches of Pigeon Lake clean after the summer season.  As part of the annual cross-country Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, 84 environmentally concerned individuals spent just under one hundred hours removing a total of 764 pounds of garbage from the shores of Pigeon Lake.
  Results from the 2011 Pigeon Lake cleanup remain similar to previous years, with cigarette butts way out in front as the main offenders (601), followed by food wrappers/containers (390) and plastic and paper bags (256).  Numerous other items of debris were collected, some of the most dangerous to wildlife included fishing line and nets, plastic six-pack holders and balloons.  Birds and fish have been found tangled in fishing line or plastic bags, sometimes causing death.  “There has been a noticeable increase in the number of plastic flagging scraps which are particularly harmful to water fowl,” noted Peggy Juchli, Coordinator of the Pigeon Lake Shoreline Cleanup, adding that this year several volunteers monitored and cleared litter all summer long and added their results to the fall totals.  As well, many individuals and municipal staff were diligent in keeping their space clean throughout the summer months.
 “The increased placement of covered garbage cans and 'butt boxes' have helped a lot,” said Juchli,  “thank you to the Counties, Summer Villages,  and local restaurants who have taken this initiative, and special thanks to those who volunteer making a huge difference in the safety, cleanliness and health of Pigeon Lake's shorelines.”
 Some of the more unusual items found included five solar lights, a cake decorator, small engine block and a sports bra.  Cleanup teams in other locations around the country found odd items such as an old steam donkey, a pair of handcuffs, a huge tooth, and six shopping carts pulled out of the water.
 Results have been forwarded to the Pigeon Lake Watershed Association, the Battle River Watershed Alliance, Summer Villages, Counties and volunteers.
 In it's sixth year, a summary of the Pigeon Lake Cleanup shows a grand total of 11,453 pounds (5154 kg) of rubbish collected between 2006 and 2011, with 449 volunteers contributing to the health of the lake. 
 The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup runs from September 17 through 25 across Canada. Although the shoreline cleanup is carried out in many countries, the Vancouver Aquarium has coordinated cleanups in Canada since 1994, when a small team of volunteers conducted a local shoreline cleanup in Vancouver's Stanley Park.  The Shoreline Cleanup became a national program in 2002 with Canadians working together all across our great country to remove harmful litter and aquatic debris from the banks of rivers, lakes, oceans and streams.  Today, roughly 50,000 people participate in the annual shoreline cleanup.
 For more information visit the GCSC website at shorelinecleanup.ca.

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