The Vancouver Island Chapter Surfrider Foundation Canada hosted a successful beach clean up on Sunday at Whiffin Spit in Sooke, as approximately 45 volunteers picked up 420 pounds of trash. (Photo from Surfrider Foundation Facebook)

The Vancouver Island Chapter Surfrider Foundation Canada hosted a successful beach clean up on Sunday at Whiffin Spit in Sooke, as approximately 45 volunteers picked up 420 pounds of trash. (Photo from Surfrider Foundation Facebook)

420 pounds of trash removed from Whiffin Spit

About 45 volunteers participated in beach clean up on Sunday

A coastal conservation group hosted a successful clean up at Whiffin Spit Beach on Sunday, attracting about 45 volunteers.

“It was so great. The community came together and even though it was pouring rain at some points, the volunteers were very committed and stuck through it,” said Chris-Ann Lake, co-manager for Vancouver Island Chapter Surfrider Foundation Canada, which hosted the event.

Surfrider has cleaned up Whiffin Spit once a year for the last ten years, with a goal of spreading awareness on how to consume less waste.

This year, 420 pounds of trash was removed. Some of the main items collected were tires, wood, Styrofoam, cans,single-use plastics like coffee cups, plastic bags, water bottles, and more.

“That is a lot for a small area, which is sad but it’s great that volunteers did such a thorough job,” said Lake.

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Lake said the clean up sparked a good discussion afterwards about what people can do moving forward to be less wasteful.

She added that some volunteers said they were excited to start holding clean ups more regularly in the Sooke area, as well as pick garbage up while out walking.

“At these clean ups sometimes people will show up with a single-use coffee cup, and as they start cleaning they notice how many of those cups they’re picking up off the ground, and I think it kind of clicks,” said Lake.

“They realize that something needs to change, and it could start with something simple like bringing their own reusable coffee mugs places.”

Although the group only comes to Whiffin Spit once a year, they are always willing to help others organize their own beach clean ups.