By Gerald V. Paul
Former mayoral candidate Dewitt Lee will lead the community from Reggae Lane to Jean Augustine Park and join thousands of other Canadians in an effort to protect and preserve waterways against shoreline litter.
Thanks to the numerous volunteers, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has become one of the largest direct action conservation events in the country.
“Enabling students and youth to participate in the Shoreline Cleanup helps to foster new generations that better understand the impacts of shoreline litter,” Lee said.
He noted shoreline litter can harm ecosystems in a number of ways. Discarded fishing gear, transported by wind and waves, can snag on and cause significant damage to fragile ocean habitats, such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Other effects include interfering with important biological processes, introducing non-native species, reducing water quality and negatively impacting delicate food webs.
Last year, Lee and team participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup at Toronto Music Garden, a Toronto park that’s home to Summer Music in the Garden, designed by renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma.
The Reggae Lane cleanup is Saturday, April 18, from 12-2 p.m. Meet at 1541 Eglinton Ave, W.
The Jean Augustine Park cleanup is Sunday, April 19, from 12-2 p.m. Meet at 2115 Lake Shore Blvd W.
Lee recently led the Keep the Light On march in Toronto. “Keep the light on for Trevor Seraphine (murdered recently at age 17). Special thanks to everyone that became a spark in the dark during Earth Hour. As the lights went out, we became the lights,” he said.
“The issues in our community that have swept under the rug and covered by darkness will be forgotten no more.”
Lee said “It was cold but we were bold and stood up for the causes that as Canadians we need to rally together and bring real change for the unanswered youth we have in our city. We will have to keep the light on for the missing and murdered Aboriginal women across Canada. We have to keep the fight on.
“We will not let the darkness of complacency allow us to remain blind to the lack of injustice.”