DIGBY COUNTY, N.S. – On World Oceans Day, June 8, students from Islands Consolidated School’s 02 program in Freeport, Digby County, pitched in along with other community volunteers and Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff to removing plastics and marine debris from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Boar’s Head Nature Reserve on the Bay of Fundy.
Three truckloads of garbage and debris – mostly buoys, rope and water bottles – were removed. About 500 metres of coastline was cleaned up, which amounts to about a third to half of the NCC property.
40-hectare (99 acre) nature reserve is located on Long Island in Digby County. The shoreline cleanup was organized by Nature Conservancy of Canada, in partnership with The Bay of Fundy Discovery Centre Association, Central Grove and Tiverton Heritage Society, Digby Salvage & Disposal and the Municipality of Digby.
According to “The State of Plastics”, a recent United Nations report, approximately 13 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans each year, becoming a hazard to wildlife and damaging marine ecosystems.
Long Island and neighbouring Brier Island, where the Nature Conservancy of Canada has a 485-hectare (1200 acre) nature reserve, are part of the Bay of Fundy’s rich ecosystem that supports humpback, finback and minke whales, as well as the endangered right whale. The islands are also located on the Atlantic Flyway and provide habitat for many species of shorebirds and migratory birds.
Plastic pollution can be harmful for birds in many ways: they can become trapped in it, it can interfere with nesting, and it can be fatal if ingested.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved 74,000 acres (29,500 hectares) in Atlantic Canada.