The Cleanup Team
Welcome aboard, Georgian Bay Forever!
A new partnership brings plastic capture & cleanup technology to Georgian Bay
TORONTO, Ontario – Today, the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup is pleased to welcome Georgian Bay Forever to the initiative. The environmental charity is dedicated to the protection, enhancement and restoration of Georgian Bay’s aquatic ecosystem and has a long history of supporting scientific research and education initiatives in the region. Georgian Bay Forever joins a rapidly-growing list of collaborators and supporters that are expanding the scope and impact of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup.
“We are really pleased to welcome Georgian Bay Forever to the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup,” says Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe. “They have been doing great work in Georgian Bay for a long time, and we knew that their expert knowledge of the area and their strong ties to the communities would be invaluable in getting the program successfully established in the Georgian Bay watershed.”
As a member of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup, Georgian Bay Forever is helping to bring more marinas that are using the Seabin and LittaTrap technologies into the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup network. Georgian Bay Forever will serve as the lead waste characterization team in the area, providing insights on the types and sources of plastic being collected by these diversion technologies, adding insight to Georgian Bay Forever’s current local plastic pollution mitigation programs and augmenting the wider Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup objectives. Georgian Bay forever will also conduct outreach and public education activities to raise awareness of plastic pollution issues locally.
“More seabins will translate into significantly more data evidence of specific types of plastic litter and the human behaviours that lead to them getting in the water,” says David Sweetnam, Executive Director of Georgian Bay Forever. “ We are proud and honoured to join this collaboration that will empower increased action needed to staunch so much continuous plastic waste accumulating in the Great Lakes basin.”
The binational Great Lakes basin is the largest freshwater system in the world, and supports a population of more than 30 million people as well as rich and diverse aquatic and coastal ecosystems. However, as a result of human and industrial activity throughout the basin, plastic pollution in the lakes, such as foam, films, water bottles, food wrappers, and cigarette butts, has reached alarming levels, and in some places, concentrations that are comparable to the ocean garbage patches. A key goal of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup initiative, working with partners like Georgian Bay Forever, is to begin capturing and cleaning up plastics in our environment while studying plastic pollution sources and pathways and educating coastal communities about the importance of recycling and proper litter disposal.
“From fighting Phragmites and advancing research on microfibres in our waterways, to understanding the impacts of fluctuating water levels and the health of Georgian Bay using ground-breaking aquatic monitoring technology, Georgian Bay Forever has been at the forefront of protecting and restoring the bay,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region. “Their involvement in the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup will help us deepen our focus and impact in this important watershed.”
About the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup
The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup, founded by Boating Ontario, the Council of the Great Lakes Region, Pollution Probe, PortsToronto and the U of T Trash Team, thanks to funding from government and corporate partners, is a first-of-its-kind initiative using innovative Seabin and LittaTrap technology to quickly capture and remove plastics and other litter at marinas from Lake Ontario to Lake Superior and everywhere in between. Through research, outreach and education, and collaboration with partners like Georgian Bay Forever, the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup will work to identify sources of litter entering our waterways and how government, industry, and consumers can work together to better reduce, reuse and recycle.
Melissa De Young
Director, Policy & Programs, Pollution Probe
President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region
Director of Development, Georgian Bay Forever
(905) 880-4945 x 3
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