The entire student body from Langdale Elementary School descended on Hopkins Beach May 30 to pitch in and pick up garbage found along the shoreline.
Their effort was part of a new spring edition of the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up created exclusively for B.C. school groups, running from May 1 to 31.
The special school edition of the clean-up was meant to help students learn about the effects of shoreline litter and what can be done to help keep shorelines clean.
"This is a way to get students involved in cleaning up what we view as our local beach. Some of our kids live along here, and many of them visit this beach," principal Bob McCubbin said on Monday.
Students walked down to Hopkins Beach from their school, picking up litter along the way. Then they formed teams and spread out to search kilometres of shoreline along Hopkins Landing for garbage that had been left or washed up on the beach.
The nearly 100 students who took part found tires, metal pieces, old fraying ropes, Styrofoam chunks, beat up boat parts, inner tubes, beer cans, cigarette butts, discarded fast food wrappers and cups, a rusting propane tank and unidentified bits of rotting garbage along the shoreline.
The teacher who helped co-ordinate the effort, Patty Dressler, said the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up wanted the school to catalogue and identify everything they found before they disposed of it.
"They want us to sort and count everything, and we're going to do that together as a school tomorrow," Dressler said, adding it would be a great educational experience for the students.
Langdale Elementary was one of 28 B.C. schools that took part in the spring clean-up this year, a joint conservation program sponsored by the Vancouver Aquarium and World Wildlife Fund.
The same sponsors organize the yearly Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up in September, with this year's event running Sept. 17 to 25.
Last year 2,235 km of shoreline was covered in the clean-up by volunteers who took away 98,071 kg of garbage from our beaches.
To get involved this September, go to www.shorelinecleanup.ca or call 1-877-427-2422.