Surfrider Foundation's Vancouver chapter to hold shoreline cleanup at Jericho Beach

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      Vancouver's beaches may be picturesque and pleasurable but they may not remain that way, due to litter and pollution from those on the shore as well as on the water.

      A recent UBC study found that cigarette waste accounts for up to 50 percent of garbage found on Vancouver shorelines.

      And enjoyment of the local waters has been restricted over the past few weeks as several Metro Vancouver beaches have been closed (and later reopened) due to high bacteria counts (often caused by fecal matter).

      An event that will help reduce waste cluttering up Jericho Beach is being held by a volunteer-run organization dedicated to improving the health of beaches and oceans.

      The Vancouver chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is organizing a beach cleanup at Jericho Beach from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday (August 18).

      The foundation was originally launched by Californian surfers in 1984 who created an ocean-health activist network with almost 80 chapters around the world.

      Participants are asked to bring gloves and to wear closed-toed shoes. A stick or trash picker is also recommended for sifting through sand in order to avoid hazardous objects (which can be removed by notifying team members).

      The cleanup will meet at the Locarno Beach parking lot at Trimble Street.

      Jericho Beach had been closed to swimming since August 11 due to high E. coli counts. However, Vancouver Coastal Health announced today that it has been reopened as bacteria levels are now within safety guidelines. 

      To help improve water quality, boaters are asked not to dump sewage (which is illegal) and instead use civic sewage-pumping stations.

      The chapter will later hold a Kitsilano Beach cleanup on September 15 in conjunction with the International Coastline Cleanup. More information about Surfrider Foundation Vancouver is available at their website

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook