Beach clean up event targeting garbage and looks to foster sustainability

The second annual Coastal Clean Up is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Canatara Park's beaches this Sunday. People can help clean up waste on the beach and participate in free activities put on by the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation and local businesses.

Participants can help pick up garbage from the beach at Canatara Park and learn about sustainable life practices at the Coastal Clean Up this Sunday. JAKE ROMPHF, Postmedia News. jpg, SO

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People are invited to help clean up Sarnia’s Lake Huron shoreline this weekend while also learning how to improve sustainability on the coast and in their own lives.

The second annual Coastal Clean Up is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Canatara Park’s beaches this Sunday. People can help clean up waste on the beach and participate in free activities put on by the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation and local businesses.

“We just wanted to give back,” said Justine Goulet, owner of Lake Life Studio and the event’s organizer.

Lake Life Studio and Sarnia’s Made Collective are hosting the cleanup and will be out on the beach to provide buckets for people to deposit garbage. They’re also asking people to bring their own gloves and buckets, but not plastic garbage bags because bags make more waste. The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation will be on the beach to direct what people should be looking for and give general information about the lake.

Goulet said this year’s cleanup is focusing on the abundance of cigarette butts and plastic nurdles – small pellets about the size of lentils – on the beach. She said people are more likely to pick up larger waste items on the beach instead of the butts.

“They’re actually very harmful because they’re tiny, so they break apart and the animals get them,” Goulet said.

The nurdles are the largest form of microplastics and easily get immersed in the sand and water, Goulet said.

“They’re a big problem because they’re so tiny,” she said.

They’ll have sifts at the beach to find the nurdles in the sand.

Activities will be going on throughout the whole cleanup.

“We didn’t have any scheduled events last time, so I think we’ll have a pretty good turnout,” Goulet said.

The day kicks off with beach yoga at 11 a.m., so anyone interested is asked to bring their own beach towel. Then, Flora & Forage will educate people on which plants protect the shoreline, which ones are safe to pick and which ones need to stay. Participants will also get to build their own flower arrangements.

Huron Glass will have a competition to see who can find the most interesting beach glass, and the event wraps up with a discussion with Great Lakes Refill Co. on sustainability and small changes that promote a zero waste lifestyle.

“It’s better for the environment and it’s better for the overall health of the lake,” Goulet said.

The Coastal Clean Up starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday with a meetup at the Canatara bandstand.

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