Esquimalt shoreline gets swept clean

OS Kelsey Smith and LS Sarah Davill pick up garbage

OS Kelsey Smith and LS Sarah Davill scour a dockyard boat launch as part of the 2013 Great Canadian Shore Cleanup.

With garbage tongs and plastic bags in hand a small but enthusiastic team took to the task of cleaning the shore of CFB Esquimalt during this year’s Great Canadian Shore Cleanup.

The team of military and civilian volunteers scoured Esquimalt Harbour and the surrounding shoreline for debris and detritus.

“We had a smaller turnout this year, but it didn’t affect what we were trying to do,” says Lyle Fairley, Environment Officer for the Queen’s Harbour Master and team leader for the Great Canadian Shore Cleanup. “Last year was the first so we were cleaning up years and years worth of garbage and scrap. This year is more like an annual touch up.”

The Great Canadian Shore Cleanup is a nation-wide event in which teams across the country collect, sort, and weigh the gathered waste, garbage and scrap to see who can collect the heaviest load.

Last year saw over 3,000lbs of materials collected by volunteers, a number Fairley is confident won’t be exceeded this year—which he says is a good thing.

“For one, we didn’t have any boats to dredge up this year. We’re hoping we can get some weight collected for the event, but to be honest no garbage is good garbage.”

The Cleanup draws volunteers from all parts of the base. LS Sarah Davill is a student at the Canadian Forces Fleet School Esquimalt (CFFSE) Communications School, and says the Cleanup struck her as a way to do some good and get out of the office.

“For a lot of us the harbour is our home as well as our workplace,” she says. “It’s important we do what we can to keep our home clean.”
LS Davill says she was surprised by the amount of garbage collected.

“I’m not sure what I expected, but there’s was a lot of stuff I never thought we’d find,” she says. “It was mostly the scrap metal and wood. It’s hard to say where some of this stuff came from.”

This year’s team collected 548lbs of material, including 352lbs of scrap metal, 64lbs of scrap wood, and 100lbs of garbage.

“With a five-person team that’s not a bad load at all,” says Fairley. “It was also nice to see the jetties were surprisingly clean. Overall it was a smaller event but I’d still call it a success.”

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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