Lower Mainland teens with Ocean Wise’s YouthToSea program have launched an initiative called Clean Coastal, Eat Local, through which they’re offering restaurant gift cards to individuals or households that organize a coastal cleanup in the month of March. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise)

Lower Mainland teens with Ocean Wise’s YouthToSea program have launched an initiative called Clean Coastal, Eat Local, through which they’re offering restaurant gift cards to individuals or households that organize a coastal cleanup in the month of March. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise)

Teens challenge Lower Mainlanders to clean up their act

YouthToSea offers restaurant gift cards in exchange for a cleaner coastline

The pandemic has not been kind to our coastline.

As people escape the confines of home, coupled with a spike in take-out dining, we’ve left behind a mess of single-use plastics, face masks, beverage bottles and assortments of all the usual trash behind. Ironically, the pandemic and physical distancing protocols are also to blame for the record-low turnout this year — a 50 per cent drop — in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

But a group of socially-minded teens in the Ocean Wise Conservation Association’s YouthToSea program want the Lower Mainland’s help with a course correction. Keeping their eye on the pandemic’s broader community impacts, they’ve conceived an inclusive idea called Clean Coastal, Eat Local. It not only helps and promotes ocean health, but supports struggling restaurants who support sustainable food producers.

READ MORE: New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

“All of us at YouthToSea wanted to come up with an idea to incorporate doing a good deed for something in return. Through Clean Coastal, Eat Local, we are supporting local businesses while encouraging individuals to get out and clean their local shoreline or waterway,” said Elizabeth Chung, an 18-year-old YouthToSea participant from Burnaby.

The goal is to see 120 shoreline cleanups in Metro Vancouver within the month of March. Those that collect at least 50 pieces of trash, or 10-pounds equivalent, will receive a $50 gift certificate from one of several locally-owned restaurants around the Lower Mainland.

Each cleanup must be hosted either solo or by households in order to meet physical distancing guidelines.

“We’ve received pretty much all positive reactions,” said Yonatan Roling, a Grade 10 student at Sir Charles Secondary School and YouthToSee member. “We’ve seen people trying to get out to do what they can to cleanup, but there’s been a spike in littering and there just isn’t enough awareness about programs that exist. This initiative really helps us get the message out to people and their families of what they can do under current circumstances.”

READ MORE: Shark and eels see alarming 71% global decline

Participating restaurants include Heirloom Vegetarian Restaurant, Tacofino, The NAAM, Fable Diner, Sammy J’s Grill and Bar, Olive and Anchor, Charlie Don’t Surf, Burgoo, Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria, Bowen Island Pub, Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant and Hive Café.

To be eligible, participants must conduct their cleanup in Metro Vancouver between March 1 and 31, and be registered on the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup website.

“With the incentive of gift cards from local restaurants and cafes, we are hoping to shine a light on small businesses that are struggling currently. Overall, I’m super excited to get this started and see how our communities can rise together – from sea to shore,” YouthToSea member Sophie Dublin said.

The gift cards were purchased by YouthToSea program, part of the Canada Service Corpse funded by Employment and Social Development Canada.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Conservation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire crews battle a large wildfire north of Highway 1 east of the Yale Road West exit on Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Firefighters battle wildfire in Chilliwack near Hwy 1

Helicopter dropping water on large wildfire in Chilliwack near Yale Road West exit, north of highway

web
Fire breaks out inside Mission Walmart

Customers, staff evacuated as firefighters investigate

Japanese Canadian citizens being transferred into waiting trucks outside Hope Station House. NNMCC L2021-2-1-004. Photographs courtesy of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre
Fight continues for historic Hope Station House

Ombudsman report and stop work order come alongside district’s move to remove heritage status

Lift equipment is driven away from a fire in an adjacent unit on Industrial Way in Chilliwack on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack firefighters deal with heavy smoke, extreme heat in challenging industrial fire

Crews successful in containing fire to 1 unit in industrial building, adjacent units suffer smoke damage

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Most Read