October 18, 2014
Esquimalt, October 18, 2014 – Inspired by similar events happening across the country, members from the Greater Victoria Ismaili Muslim community participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup at Saxe Point Park on Saturday, October 4. This was the first time that members of the Victoria Jamatkhana had participated in an event with a sole focus of caring and protecting the natural environment. A total of 18 volunteers took part in this year’s inaugural event, and participants included members of the Township of Esquimalt’s Environmental Advisory Committee, and members of the Victoria Jamatkhana and Victoria Jamatkhana Ismaili Volunteer Corps.
By removing shoreline litter from lakes, rivers, and beaches across Canada, participants in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup are helping prevent animal entanglement, water contamination, and dangers for water-based activities such as boating and swimming. Over its history, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has helped to remove approximately 1.2 million kilograms of shoreline litter – the approximate weight of 259 school buses.
“Shoreline litter does more than mar the beauty of our ecosystems; it puts wildlife and people at risk. From leaching harmful chemicals into the water, to entangling wildlife, to upsetting the balance of the ecosystem, the impact of shoreline litter is far-reaching,” said Jill Dwyer, program manager for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. “The good news is that through the Shoreline Cleanup, there is something we can do to be part of the solution.”
This year, the most common items collected included cigarettes/cigarette filters, food wrappers, plastic and paper bags, caps and lids, beverage cans, beverage bottles, disposable cups, and tobacco packaging.
“We were very excited to participate in the first-ever Shoreline Cleanup event for the Victoria Jamatkhana,” said Al-Nashir Charania, the Site Coordinator and a Convenor for the BC Ismaili Volunteer Corps. “This national conservation effort is a great chance for everyone to get involved and play an important role in keeping the Saxe Point Park shoreline healthy for our community and the plants and animals that rely on our waters for survival.”
The Shoreline Cleanup initiative is a practical expression of Shia Ismaili values of environmental consciousness, voluntary service, and good citizenship, which are founded on Islamic ethics that all Muslims strive towards.
Plans are already in the works for next year’s Shoreline Cleanup, and from the tremendously positive response by this year’s participants, you can be sure to find members of the Victoria Ismaili Muslim community playing their part in next year’s initiative.
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