Searching for trash

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

By Sarah Rauh


Do you know of a location along the shoreline of Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) that needs some tender loving care? Have you come across a collection of garbage or other marine debris while exploring the North Shore? If so, we want to hear from you!

Over the past three years, Lake Superior NMCA has hosted shoreline clean-ups such as the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up in the spring and the International Coastal Clean-up in the fall. We host shoreline clean-ups each year to help raise awareness of issues such as marine debris and plastic, as well as to promote stewardship of the Big Lake. Shoreline clean-up events contribute to Parks Canada’s monitoring and reporting of marine debris, and to global efforts to clean both saltwater and freshwater coastlines. Since 2017, we have removed over 364,000 nurdles and over 100 lbs. of garbage from Lake Superior with the help of our hard-working volunteers and staff!

This year, we are putting the call out to our partners and stakeholders to find potential locations for this year’s clean-ups. If you know of a section of shoreline where debris gathers, where nurdles appear, or where garbage seems to accumulate after storms, contact us!

Please share information on potential locations with our staff by email or phone (807-887-5467).  We ask you to provide the location (GPS coordinates and photos, if possible), type of debris, and when approximately you saw the debris. This information will help our planning team determine the locations of future clean-ups.

Marine debris takes on a variety of forms from nurdles, food wrappers, cigarette butts, buoys, and much more. At previous clean-ups, some of the more notable items found have included a metal oil drum, a puffer, a foam and plastic water gun, fishing lures, a fabric flower, a toy butterfly net, a plastic cutting board, and 20 feet of rubberized tubing.

If you are interested in getting involved in upcoming clean-ups, we are always looking for volunteers. Clean-up dates and locations will be announced on our Facebook and Twitter.

Thank-you in advance for your help in keeping the Big Lake “Superior”!

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