Hats off to the team from Superstore, who stepped away from their jobs running the local grocery stores last Thursday to help clean up the community.
Superstore manager Bryan Rain and some 30 other Loblaw employees from his store, as well as Guildford, Abbotsford, and Aldergrove stores, the district office, and the Pitt Meadows distribution facility all took part in a three-hour cleanup on Sept. 13 that pulled a couple hundred pounds of garbage out of Derby Reach Regional Park.
"It's to protect the shorelines and to get rid of all the debris from people using it," explained Rain, who was a little shocked to discover car parts and a portion of satellite dish in the mix.
After scouring the park, and especially the shoreline of the Fraser River, the team came together to enjoy a barbecue. Of note, there was a cost to eat. Hotdogs were served up by donation, and Rain bragged that they also managed to raise another $100 for the President's Choice Children's Charity.
This is the second year in a row that Rain and the team have participated in the company's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, and while it's a great morale booster and social outlet for staff, he also described it as a great way for the company to get active in the community and to make a difference.
More than 45,000 Canadians at more than 1,500 sites are banding together to fight shoreline litter, a key threat to the waterways, by participating in the 19th annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup presented by Loblaw Companies Limited.
A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, the Shoreline Cleanup is the largest direct action conservation initiative in Canada.
"The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a great opportunity for Canadians to make a difference in their local communities by removing harmful shoreline litter that can negatively impact the people and wildlife that depend on healthy waters," said Jill Dwyer, manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
Twelve per cent of Canada's surface is covered by water in the form of lakes, rivers, and streams.
The nation's coastal shorelines bordering oceans total 243,000 km, making it the longest national coastline in the world.
Every September, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup engages thousands of Canadians to clean up these shorelines - anywhere where land meets water - in their local communities.
During the 2011 shoreline cleanup, more than 3,144 km of shoreline were cleaned and 143,737 kg of litter were removed from the many cleanup sites.
Included in the 2011 "Dirty Dozen" list (the list of most collected litter items) were: plastic bags, cigarettes/cigarette filters and tips, food wrappers/containers, caps/lids, plastic and glass beverage bottles, beverage cans, disposable food flatware and packaging, straws/stirrers, paper bags, and tobacco packaging/wrappers.
"The magnitude of litter items collected each year represents the potential harm of such debris on our communities and wildlife," said Tony Maas, director of Freshwater Program at WWF. "These impacts can be far-reaching, ranging from the emission of toxins into our waters, to affecting the natural beauty and appearance of our shorelines, to entangling or being ingested by animals."
Organisms often attach to litter as it flows through water systems, causing invasive species to infiltrate foreign habitats and damage the sensitive balance of the ecosystem. Also, wildlife entangled in litter such as plastic bags, six-pack rings, ribbon, fishing line or food wrappers can have their movements restricted, be injured or even eventually drown, suffocate or starve.
For example, during last year's shoreline cleanup, three foxes were found entangled in rope in Miramichi, New Brunswick, a seagull was discovered in a plastic bag in Toronto, Ontario, and a swan was found entangled in a six-pack ring beverage holder in Vancouver.
Countless other animals, such as ducks, seagulls, frogs, fish, and rodents were also found entangled in litter.
Animals like sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and swallow them. This clogs their digestive tracts, leading to starvation and death. In addition, animals may accidentally use pieces of debris to build nests and shelters. Nestling and adult birds can then eat or get tangled in the debris used in their nests.
"Loblaw is proud to present the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for the fourth consecutive year, which is made possible through partial proceeds from the sale of plastic shopping bags in our stores," said Bob Chant, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs and Communication. "The Shoreline Cleanup is a great way to engage Canadians to take positive collective action on the environment. With more than 1,000 Loblaw colleagues and employees participating in shoreline cleanups across Canada, we are helping to make a difference."
More information on the effort is available online at www.ShorelineCleanup.ca.
Fashion aids Make A Wish
A charity fashion show in Langley on Friday night is benefiting sick and dying children. How can that not be a cool thing?
This adult-only night out is called Because You're Beautiful, with a portion of the $40 ticket price going to Make A Wish Foundation - of course further donation will also be accepted that night.
The MINI dealership in Langley is playing host to this awesome soiree that combines those stylish and fun little cars, the latest fall and winter fashions from Nectar Lingerie, food from chef Adrian Beaty of Seasonal 56, and refreshments from Skinny Girl Cocktails, Russell Brewery, and Republica Coffee Roasters.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m., but if you're looking for more information visit www.becauseyouarebeautiful.eventbrite.ca. Tickets are available in advance at Nectar's at 9110 Glover Rd.
Licensing becomes simpler
One business licence to work in any municipality in the Upper Fraser Valley is a step closer to reality.
The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce came out this week applauding both City and Township of Langley councils for voting in favour of an inter-municipal business licence program. It's a move chamber president Angie Quaale said "will significantly cut red tape for business in Langley."
"The chamber believes that by supporting this program Langley councils have unequivocally demonstrated that Langley is 'open for business'."
ù More online at www.langleyadvance.com
Advocated for by chambers of commerce in the Fraser Valley, the inter-municipal licence will set the Fraser Valley as the largest economic zone in B.C., Quaale said.
Mobile businesses such as contractors, caterers, and cleaners will now be able to purchase one licence that will allow them to conduct business in any community from Surrey to Hope on both sides of the Fraser.
The local chamber is now encouraging the other Fraser Valley municipalities to support this initiative.
For more information on the inter-municipal licensing program, people can visit www.langleychamber.com.