St. Lawrence River Cleanup seeks volunteers

Alycia Douglass

Published on April 11, 2017

The Great St. Lawrence River Cleanup will return this May.

CORNWALL, Ontario - Following the success of last year’s River Cleanup, planning is currently underway for their second cleanup project.

Last season’s venture pulled a total of over 12 tons of garbage from the depths of the St. Lawrence River. Hoping to top last year’s feat, the Upper St. Lawrence River Protection Network have made some big changes to this year’s cleanup plan.

Toronto-based TerraCycle specializes in recycling typically non-recyclable waste, and will facilitate the new objective to recycle as much as possible.

“They’re able to take all the plastic bottles and turn them into park benches,” said Karen Douglass Cooper, Communications Specialist at the River Institute. “We’re also planning on approaching local artists to create a sculpture with our best pieces of metal.”

Douglass Cooper says that while they can certainly look forward to more garbage coming out of the river, the River Institute is currently considering some more proactive ways to tackle the issue. Specifically, they’re hoping to play a role in educating youth about environmental causes.

“I think there’s a real need for it,” said Douglass Cooper. “We were able to find a bunch of common teaching points on curriculum, and we’re hoping we can go into schools with message.”

While education may provide the tools for better river health in the future, right now, the River Institute is currently seeking volunteers to assist with the cleanup, which is set to take place from May-Oct.

Below, are the full details regarding upcoming cleanups:

Sat. May 13: In-River/Shoreline – Cornwall Harbour bay and inlet only

Sun. July 23: Deep Harbour Cleanup

TBD Cleanup Akwesasne (dive team probable)

Fri. August 4: Akwesasne Cleanup (In-River/Shoreline)

Fri. October 20: Waste Reduction Week School Cleanup (Shoreline/Nearshore) River Institute

Check out their website for more information about the Great St. Lawrence River Cleanup, or to volunteer.