Since 1994, there have been 21,300 cleanups that have collected more than 1.3 million kg of trash across Canada’s shorelines.
We thank the nearly 800,000 volunteers that have led and participated in cleanups throughout the years. We couldn’t do this without you.
In 1994, employees and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium decided to clean up a beach in Stanley Park to protect the city’s shorelines. From that first cleanup, the program expanded across British Columbia and by 1997, 400 volunteers were participating in the Great BC Beach Cleanup at 20 sites.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup became a national conservation initiative in 2002 and cleanups started appearing in every province and territory. By 2003, more than 20,000 volunteers were taking part. Public support grew as Canadians became more aware of the harmful effects of shoreline litter on ecosystems, wildlife and people. In 2010, the Vancouver Aquarium began delivering the program with WWF-Canada, a strong partnership that continues today.
In 2017, the Vancouver Aquarium expanded to become Ocean Wise, a global conservation organization focused on protecting and restoring our world's oceans. The Shoreline Cleanup is housed under the Ocean Wise umbrella too.
The Shoreline Cleanup is now recognized as one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada are committed to growing the program to achieve our mission: to inspire Canadians to keep all shorelines free of litter.