World Oceans Day Shoreline Cleanup

If there is one thing I am always pretty balls-to-the-wall about—it’s protecting our ocean, saving the whales, and keeping straws out of sea turtles noses.

On World Ocean Day, the East Coast Mermaid crew went to help with an ocean clean up. This is what happened and how you can get involved.

My love of the ocean is what inspired East Coast Mermaid in the first place and it remains my driving force to this day. I work incredibly hard to give back to ocean conversation efforts and I’m very proud to say that Sandy Toes Shop —my coastal apparel line—donates $1 from every sale to various Atlantic Canadian ocean conversation programs.

In fact, later this summer we’re making a big donation to one of our favourite organizations from all the proceeds of last year’s Sandy Toes Shop sales—and we’ll be taking you along for the ride. (But that is all this mermaid can say about that for now. 😉)

The World Oceans Day Shoreline Cleanup

On June 8th, in celebration of World Ocean’s Day, the Hunstman Marine Science Center / Fundy Discovery Aquarium partnered with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick to host a shoreline cleanup in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

When I heard about it, it took me all of 2.5 seconds to decide to block off the whole day in my calendar and register!

When World Ocean’s Day rolled in with sunshine and the promise of salty breezes, Mama Mermaid and I travelled to St. Andrews for the shoreline cleanup. We met up with the other volunteers on Ministers Island and had the BEST time!

Our Shoreline Cleanup Experience

World Oceans Day Shore Cleanup Ministers Island 3

World Oceans Day Shore Cleanup Ministers Island 6 copy

World Oceans Day Shore Cleanup Ministers Island 2

While it was deeply sobering to see the kind of trash and debris that is littering our shorelines, it was also incredible to see strangers of all ages come together to clean up our beaches—working together to saw and release fishing rope tangled around driftwood and debris, and loading a trailer FULL of collected garbage and recyclables.

World Oceans Day Shore Cleanup Ministers Island 7

World Oceans Day Shore Cleanup Ministers Island 6

It was also pretty awesome to learn that the repurposed grain bags we used in lieu of plastic garbage bags were donated by local breweries – Big Tide Brewing Co., Graystone Brewing and Trailway Breweing Co..

Being a huge fan of 4Ocean – I brought along my 4Ocean cleanup bag and cleanup gloves which came in so handy.

Hate to burst your balloon

I think one of the hardest things to see during the shoreline cleanup was the large clump of balloons and ribbons we found along the beach. While I recognize that for some, the act of releasing balloons into the sky for loved ones who’ve passed away is important—but it breaks my heart that people don’t realize this act to honour those we’ve lost is literally killing our sea life.

Please say no releasing things like balloons or Chinese lanterns in the sky folks.

World Oceans Day Shoreline Cleanup 2

World Oceans Day Shoreline Cleanup

After spending just two hours on the shores of Minister Island, our group of volunteers filled an entire trailer with trash before we all headed back to the mainland.

World Oceans Day Shoreline Cleanup copy

I’m so glad I jumped on the opportunity to take part in this awesome initiative and I can’t think of a better way to have spent World Oceans Day.

Well, maybe that part where later in the day I shared secrets with a ray at the Fundy Discovery Aquarium. That was pretty awesome.

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What can YOU can do to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans?

  • Replace plastic water bottles by switching to reusable water bottles.
  • Say no to plastic bags and bring your own reusable bag instead.
  • Don’t release balloons or Chinese lanterns into the sky.
  • Plastic straws end up in sea turtle’s noses. Stop sucking.
  • Celebrating with fireworks on the beach? Ensure that you and your party properly collect all firework wrappers and plastic bases after the show. Better yet – skip the fireworks. 
  • Bring a trash bag to the beach on your visits and collect any garbage or debris that you come across. Every little bit counts. Together we can make a difference.

A huge thank you to the Huntsman Marine Science Center / Fundy Discovery Aquarium and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick for organizing such an amazing event! We’ll definitely be back next year.

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