Reply To: Are You Engaged? Conservation and SKABC

Jonathan Jacobsen

Roxanne’s email reminds me to post my thoughts on doing a shoreline clean-up with Great Canadian Shore Line Clean-up, which I was keen on at our last meeting.

On the plus side, there are lots of pre-defined shoreline areas to choose from with this group, or one can submit a new one (but presumably it goes through a review process and my guess is that a site that is only accessible by kayak might be rejected as being inaccessible to many potential participants).

However, participation requires counting every item collected and weighing the results. Personally, I think this more than doubles the effort of simply cleaning a shoreline, and reduces the enjoyment. There is undoubtedly some value in the resulting statistics, but…

So, although I was keen on the Great Canadian Shore Line Clean-up, to begin with, I’m now thinking that simply getting out and cleaning up some shoreline, without official sanction, is simpler and more enjoyable. I’m with Reed on the idea of a trip to clean some area up, if a suitable one can be found, and otherwise, or in addition, I’d suggest that we work on making clean-up a part of every official SKABC trip and training course. If every club trip (and ideally every private one as well), took a few trash bags along and collected at least all the small stuff on a beach or campsite, if not the large items, it would make the site that much nicer for the next group. No matter that a few changes of the tide later brings new stuff; it’s not about perfection or returning the beach to a pristine wilderness state as much as it is just making it a bit better for the next group of visitors, in my view. I think this would provide a great sense of satisfaction, without having to record exactly how many plastic bags and cigarette butts were picked up.

Perhaps the next step in the above is to present this to the club executive for official endorsement of the idea that every club outing include a clean-up component, and to the trips and training coordinators to include in materials provided to trip leaders and training course instructors. Maybe it should go on kit lists as a standard item.

I’m going to attempt to put my money where my mouth is and take trash bags on my next paddles and see if I can’t make some small difference.

As for a clean-up day trip by this group and interested others, I defer back to Reed on finding a suitably garbage-strewn area for us to visit. Happy to join that paddle. What about a tour of a few spots in Indian Arm, like Racoon or Twin Islands? Or surely there is some garbage somewhere in Howe Sound. Maybe the mid-June trip can plan to bring back whatever is found.