The ‘Clean Coastal, Eat Local’ initiative is spearheaded by teens from Ocean Wise’s YouthToSea program and offers $50 restaurant gift cards to those who meet the criteria.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to participation in the Great Canadian Shore Cleanup dropping by half, so some Metro Vancouver teenagers have come up with a plan to help get the numbers back up and help struggling businesses.
The group of 15 teens is hoping to encourage people to join the shoreline cleanup and support restaurants hit hard by the pandemic by offering gift certificates.
Ocean Wise and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup have launched a “Clean Coastal, Eat Local” initiative spearheaded by youth from Ocean Wise’s YouthToSea program.
The campaign aims to address two issues: A 50 per cent drop in participation in Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; And the decline in business experienced by local restaurants due to COVID-19, according to a news release from Ocean Wise.
The goal is get 120 shoreline cleanups happening in Metro Vancouver this month by awarding $50 restaurant gift cards to anyone who organizes a cleanup which meets the criteria.
“We decided to create this initiative after learning that the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup recorded record low turnout numbers over the past year,” said Yonatan Roling, a 15-year-old YouthToSea participant from Vancouver, said in a statement.
“As a group we decided that restaurant gift cards would both encourage families to take action against shoreline pollution and help keep small businesses running during the pandemic.”
With funding through the program, the teens purchased gift cards from restaurants across the Lower Mainland. All the restaurants had to be locally owned, provide takeout, and, if it offered seafood then it had to be sustainable.
Restaurants chosen 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.
Elizabeth Chung, an 18-year-old YouthToSea participant from Burnaby, said they wanted to find a way to support local business and encourage good deeds, while teen Sophie Dublin, also from Burnaby, said she was “super excited” to see how communities can rise together for a good cause.
To be eligible for a gift card, your cleanup must take place in Metro Vancouver between March 1 and 31, 2021 and you must officially register it on the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup website.
Participants must collect a minimum of 50 pieces (or 10 lbs) of shoreline litter and litter data must be logged via Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s website.
Finally, to comply with Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s COVID-19 safety protocols, cleanups must be solo or household only.
More details can be found at shorelinecleanup.ca/cleancoastaleatlocal.
Ocean Wise’s YouthToSea program brings together 100 youth aged 15-to-19 from across the Lower Mainland to learn how to protect and conserve the ocean.