Annual Beach Cleanup 2024

Friends of McNabs Island Society – Annual Beach Cleanup recovers a Wallet, and more Styrofoam, Tires and Fishing Gear

(June 13, 2024) On Sunday June 9th, 160 volunteers headed to McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour to clean up garbage that had washed ashore since last summer. Volunteers collected approximately 300 bags of garbage, including broken lobster traps, an assortment of tires, lots of Styrofoam and plastic junk, parts of a navigation system for a boat, an old plastic toy gun, and a wallet.

In total, volunteers have collected more than 17,000 bags of garbage and recyclables from the beaches of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park and Fort McNab National Historic Site over the past 34 years. This cleanup is the longest-running and largest cleanup in the Maritimes!

Ghost Gear Marine Fishing Debris continues to be a significant part of the garbage collected from the island’s shoreline. Small colourful plastic Lobster bands, tags and bait bags, broken fish crates, and lobster traps continue to litter the beaches.

The most unusual item found this year was a wallet with $5 inside. After the cleanup, we tracked down the owner and gave him back his wallet. He was delighted to get it back after losing it last summer when it fell in the water some distance from where it washed up on the island.

Sadly, the bulk of the items collected are plastics which break down into micro-plastics over time and stay in the environment for centuries. Unfortunately, plastic tampon applicators from the sewage system and too many Tim Horton’s coffee cups with their plastic liners continue to litter the beaches.
Thanks to teams from McInnes Cooper, Butterfield Support Services, the Port of Halifax, the Alnass Community Association and many individuals and families who volunteered to pick up garbage that littered the island park. Support for the cleanup this year came from Michelin Canada and McInnes Cooper. As they have done for decades, Source Atlantic supplied the gloves for the volunteers.

The Friends of McNabs Island Society is a volunteer-driven registered charity dedicated to preserving and protecting McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park and Fort McNab National Historic Site. Since 1990, the Friends of McNabs have improved the trails and park facilities, organized community beach cleanups, offered guided tours to island visitors and this year opened an Outdoor Education Centre on the island – making McNabs Island a welcoming park for everyone.

See cleanup photos here