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Local group collected 38,000 metres of abandoned fishing line

Critical Catch program continues to divert garbage and other debris from shorelines and Georgian Bay
One of Georgian Bay Forever's cigarette butt collection receptacles.

The Blue Mountains council will continue its support for Georgian Bay Forever’s efforts to clean up the Georgian Bay shoreline.

Ashley Morrison, a project manager with Georgian Bay Forever, made a presentation at council’s meeting on Feb. 20 that outlined the group’s continuing efforts to remove debris, garbage and cigarette butts from local shores.

Georgian Bay Forever runs the Critical Catch program in various communities on Georgian Bay. The program seeks to remove garbage and other debris from the waters and shores of Georgian Bay. The organization ran the program in 2021, 2022 and 2023. During that clean-up events grew from 21 in 2021 to 61 in 2023. The volunteer-based cleanups have removed approximately 3,500 pounds of garbage from local waters.

In 2023, the group collected more than 38,000 metres of abandoned monofilament fishing line. Georgian Bay Forever places fishing line collection receptacles at numerous waterfront areas around Georgian Bay.

Morrison said abandoned fishing line and other fishing gear have been “found in abundance.”

“It made us aware of a strong need in our community to address abandoned fishing gear,” she said.

Morrison asked for council and the town’s support in three areas: she asked that volunteers working during clean-up day receive parking passes to avoid parking tickets, that the town advertise clean-up days on its website and that the town include the locations of fishing line and cigarette butt collection stations on the town’s Waste Wizard guide.

Council unanimously passed a resolution to support the requests and asked for a follow-up from staff on the issue.

About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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