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Volunteer-driven Gorge Waterway cleanup happens Saturday, rain or shine

Community participation helps protect habitat, maintain natural space
An intact wine glass covered in barnacles was found during one of the Gorge Waterway cleanups. (Photo courtesy of Rachel O’Neill)

Volunteers are clearing trash from the water and shoreline this weekend during the annual Gorge Waterway Cleanup.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 18), the community event aims to protect habitat and delicate ecosystems through the removal of garbage and other debris.

Rachel O’Neill, manager of communications and development with the Burnside Gorge Community Association, said it gathers families, corporate groups, friends and others in a mutual cause.

“People come together to tend to our shared space,” she said, adding, “it has served as a real eye-opener for volunteers in past years who didn’t know just how much trash and debris gets left behind.”

While volunteers tend to the shoreline along the Gorge, a volunteer dive team will collect waste from the ocean floor.

There is a limited supply of boots and gloves and it is encouraged that attendees bring their own gear if possible.

Participants are asked to check in first at the volunteer tent in Selkirk Green Park, 350 Waterfront Cres. off Jutland Road. The cleanup is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon.

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Volunteers in 2019 collect debris from the Gorge Waterway shoreline. (Photo courtesy of Rachel O’Neill)