September 18, 2006

Annual shoreline cleanup launched

TORONTO, ONT-As part of last week's national launch of the 2006 TD Canada Trust Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, divers from the Toronto Police marine unit descended into Toronto Harbour to recover submerged debris. Volunteers from the Toronto area were also on hand to clean up the nearby Little Norway Park. This year's cleanup, running from September 16 to 24, has more than 900 cleanup sites and over 40,500 participants registered across Canada. In addition, an unprecedented number of "drop in" cleanups are happening throughout the country. TD Canada Trust has been involved with the program since its beginning 12 years ago through its TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Last year, the corporation became the title sponsor, with the Vancouver Aquarium continuing to operate the program nationally. In 2005, participants from Tofino to St. John's removed 10,299 bags of garbage, weighing in at 86,201 kg. Left uncollected, this debris would have posed a risk of harm to the many species of wildlife living on those shorelines. Data collected from every cleanup across the country is sent to the Vancouver Aquarium for tallying. Once tallied, all the information is forwarded to the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) for worldwide clean up totals. As a participant in the ICC, held around the world every September, Canada ranks second for the largest shoreline cleanup among 90 participating countries. More information is available on the program's Web site, www.vanaqua.org/cleanup.

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