Members of the of the Nanaimo branch of MNP Services gathered at Westwood Lake Monday to participate in the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to clear garbage and debris from the popular city park.
Spokeswoman Traci Pogson, who led the 18-member team at Westwood Lake, said staff members took the day off to focus their energies on helping clean up the beaches and trails at the park, said the financial company was looking for a way to give back to the community, and its Vancouver Island branches decided to focus on the shoreline cleanup this year in four locations across the Island, including Westwood Lake. She said that the majority of the waste collected as of noon Monday included discarded beer and pop bottles, dog-poop bags, cigarette butts, kids toys, flotation devices and shoes.
"We're sure happy to be here and giving something back to the communities that MNP operates in," Pogson said.
"We see it as a helpful project, particularly considering that many of our employees use this park a lot during the year."
Every year, tens of thousands of Canadians take action against aquatic debris by participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited. Jointly led by the Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Federation, the initiative focuses on educating and empowering people to make a difference through community cleanup events.
Today, the Shoreline Cleanup is one of the largest environmental events in Canada and the third largest cleanup in the world.
Since 2003, over 400,000 participants have removed nearly onemillion kilograms of garbage from Canadian shorelines.
Awareness and support for the program grows each year, dramatically increasing its impact as the public starts to better understand how shoreline litter adversely affects both aquatic life and people.
This is the first year that the Nanaimo branch of the MNP, one of the largest chartered accountancy and business consulting firms in Canada, decided to get involved in the annual cleanup.
"One of our core values is supporting our profession and our community," said Garth Busch, MNP's regional managing partner for Vancouver Island. "But you can't just talk about it, you have to walk the talk. You have to commit and then decide to take action. While there are lots of great charities out there, our team thought the shoreline cleanup was a way that we could make a difference and have some fun at the same time."
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