Hundreds of Sooke School District students scattered the shore to declutter the beach extending from Esquimalt to Albert Head Lagoon on Thursday.
Dunsmuir Middle School Grade 6 students in Bruce Sellinger’s class collected 10 bags of garbage in an hour or so of picking up discarded items big and small. Students will go through the trash to find out what the most common pieces of garbage were, the teacher said.
Eight classrooms from Dunsmuir alone went to the cleanup event, each with around 25 students, according to the school. A couple hundred students from Royal Bay Secondary, Sangster Elementary and Colwood Elementary also attended the beach clean up.
The event coincided with world turtle day and WE Day, an annual event that We Charity began in 2007 to inspire youth activism.
The idea for this event came out of a WE hosted dinner that was held for the Royal Bay family of school, SD62 spokesperson Lindsay Vogan said in an email. “The admin thought about what sort of initiative their school could take on relatively quickly and the beach clean-up idea started,” she said.
Sellinger’s students picked up “lots” of straws, he said. Students found small pieces plastic, styrofoam, fast food garbage, coffee cups, beer cans, cigarette butts in their haul, some of them noted.
Phoenix Eves, 11, said he was interested in the cleanup because it was about “helping the community, making it less dirty and saving the turtles.” He also found “cool rocks and some shells.”
“I love turtles and it’s sad to see people taking out straws from their nose,” said Sophie Hales, 12.
“It was really fun to come down here and help out.”