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The Vancouver Aquarium Dives in to Help Raise Awareness of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

September 3, 2014

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Vancouver, B.C - September 3, 2014. To help launch this year's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, the Vancouver Aquarium Dive Team is doing its part in keeping our shorelines healthy by diving into the waters off Kits Point for an underwater cleanup.



"I find litter and trash in the ocean on almost every dive I do," says Jeremy Heywood, the Vancouver Aquarium's diving safety officer. "Even in remote locations I find beer bottles on the bottom and marine debris floating at the surface. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is an important initiative for cleaning up our waterways; I'm happy to take part."



You don't have to be a diver to participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited. Every year, the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF encourage Canadians of all ages to pitch in to collect and dispose of shoreline litter, by organizing their very own Shoreline Cleanup, or joining an existing local cleanup in their community.



"Even though dive cleanups are not officially part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, today divers across Canada are helping to raise awareness of this fall's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, and reveal all the types of litter we find along our shorelines." says Susan Debreceni, program manager, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. "From everyday items like food wrappers, plastic bags and cigarette butts; to unusual items like wedding dresses, disco balls and kitchen sinks we're always surprised at what we see."



Across Canada in 2013, the GCSC registered 1,950 sites, and 58,500 registrants cleaned 3,035 kilometres, filling 10,891 garbage bags. The highest percentage of trash collected came from discarded single use food and beverage items things like water and pop bottles and from items related to smoking. As this year's Shoreline Cleanup starts to ramp up, organizers hope to see record numbers of Canadians sign up to make Canada's largest community-led, volunteer-powered conservation program better than ever.



"The Shoreline Cleanup serves as a reminder of how human activity can damage our ecosystem," says David Miller, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. "Shoreline litter is one of the biggest threats to the health of our rivers, lakes and oceans. Participating in these cleanups is a perfect way for people to get involved in their local community while tackling this important issue."



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Being a site coordinator is easy. Simply choose a date, invite a group made up of family and friends, co-workers or even an entire community, and lead a cleanup any day during the months of September and October. Some coordinators might want to "think globally and act locally" in a deliberate way, timing their cleanup to coincide with the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 20. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is one of Canada's largest direct action conservation programs, is the most significant contributor to the International Coastal Cleanup in Canada, and is the third largest cleanup in the world. Sign up to coordinate a shoreline cleanup in your neighbourhood in September or October, 2014 at www.ShorelineCleanup.ca.



"The Shoreline Cleanup is a great way for all Canadians, including our colleagues and customers, to take direct positive action on the environment," says Bob Chant, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communication, Loblaw Companies Limited. "More than 1,000 Loblaw employees will be taking part in the Shoreline Cleanup this year in communities across Canada." This is Loblaw's fourth consecutive year presenting the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, made possible through partial proceeds from Loblaw's charge-for-plastic shopping bag program.



The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup would like to thank the Vancouver Maritime Museum for the use of its dock in hosting today's dive cleanup.



About the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and

WWF, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging

Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. www.ShorelineCleanup.ca



About Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life.

www.vanaqua.org



About WWF

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca



About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unit holder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. www.loblaw.ca





Attached Photo:

Vancouver Aquarium divers Jeremy Heywood (left) and Crystal Kulcsar search for litter in Vancouver, BC, on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 as part of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited. To sign up and organize your own shoreline cleanup this fall, visit ShorelineCleanup.ca. The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/Vancouver Aquarium



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Photos accompanying this release are available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=27442

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=27443

CONTACT:Deana Lancaster | Vancouver Aquarium | 604 659 3752 | deana.lancaster@vanaqua.orgWeiwei Su | WWF-Canada | 416 939 9662 | wsu@wwfcanada.org Loblaw Companies Limited | 905 459 2500 | pr@loblaw.ca



WWF Canada logo

Source: World Wildlife Fund Canada


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Source: GlobeNewswire - Canada


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