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P.E.I. beach clean-up organizers say less garbage collected in 2019 than in previous years

Roseville/Miminegash Watersheds Association Inc. workers, from left, Milton Chaisson, Thane Doucette and Danny Murphy display the debris their September beach sweep netted.
Roseville/Miminegash Watersheds Association Inc. workers, from left, Milton Chaisson, Thane Doucette and Danny Murphy display the debris their September beach sweep netted. - Eric McCarthy
MIMINEGASH, P.E.I. —

The co-ordinator of the Roseville/Miminegash Watersheds Inc. is commending beach walkers for the active role they play in ridding beaches of debris.

Danny Murphy said his association conducts two beach cleanups annually one in early August and the other in September. Murphy was joined in the September cleanup by Milton Chaisson, Daniel Gavin and Thane Doucette from the watershed group, two provincial summer students and volunteers Colleen and Marlene Murphy

Association workers and volunteers, he said, gathered less debris this year than in previous years. 

“The walkers come down and they clean up after the beach parties,” he said. “That’s where the cans come in so well.”

The association has strategically located garbage cans on the beaches at Whites Cove in Burton, Campbellton, Roseville Pond and at either side of Miminegash Harbour. Murphy’s workers collect the garbage from the cans once a week.

Arriving at Miminegash Harbour to complete their September sweep, workers encountered Carl Doucette. He had been out for is regular beach walk and was about to head home with the garbage he collected, like he does most days. This time they took it off his hands and added that kilogram or so of debris to their trailer load.

“There’s everything from flip flops to leftover lawn chairs on the beach…There’s a little bit of everything.” 
-Danny Murphy

From their early August sweep of approximately 40 kilometres of beach, from Burton to Waterford and including the perimeter of Roseville and Miminegash ponds, the association delivered 280 kg of garbage to Waste Watch. Their September cleanup netted another 420 kg.

There are a whole lot of beach days before their first cleanup of the year, but Murphy explains there is a reason for the late start. They wait until the risk of causing harm to nesting birds has passed. He’s grateful for the people who make use of the garbage receptacles whether to dispose of waste they generate, or to dispose of any debris they gather during their walks.

The beach sweeps raise awareness, Murphy noted. 

“Some kids saw us and they ran ahead of us and put (the garbage) in little piles,” Thane Doucette said.

“They like to help, Chaisson added. 

Key items found in the beach sweep include water bottles, remnants of smashed lobster buoys and items left behind by some beach visitors. 

“There’s everything from flip flops to leftover lawn chairs on the beach to…," Murphy pauses. “There’s a little bit of everything.” 

They also find the wires from burned-out car tires, but they acknowledge and appreciate that there was less of that this year than in past cleanups.


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