Trash on beaches, major drought prompt community beach cleanup in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trash on beaches, major drought prompt community beach cleanup in Kamloops

Garbage can be seen piled on beach at Overlander Park in Kamloops.

Trash can be seen in piles or scattered along the beaches in Kamloops, from cans to plastics, to papers and random clothing items, and the City is making plans to get it cleaned up.

The problem prompted city councillor Mike O’Reilly to forward a motion for Clean the Beach and Adopt-A-Beach programs at a council meeting on Sept. 12 which were both passed by council.

“Cleaning up of the city’s water systems will have a positive impact on the environment and the quality of life for all residents,” O’Reilly said in the notice.

The City of Kamloops has more than 110 kilometres of shoreline including the Thompson Rivers, Peterson Creek, Guerin Creek and Campbell Creek. In his notice of motion, O’Reilly said the current drought conditions make for a good cleanup opportunity.

“The crisis that we find ourselves in right now is a drought,” he said in the meeting. “An extreme drought we haven’t seen in our lifetimes, and to me this is a once in a lifetime or once in a generational opportunity at this point for how low the water levels will go for us to clean up areas that may not get the opportunity to be cleaned up for a very long time.”

He said cleaning up beaches and waterways is not an easy process. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans would need to be involved along with community service officers in dangerous areas, and CP Rail in the Valleyview area.

City staff will gather information and share findings, come up with ways to engage neighbourhood groups and associations, and determine how the City can help facilitate a community beach cleanup.

Added to the proposal is a request City staff create an Adopt-A-Beach program that would be similar to the existing Adopt-A-Road program and the Adopt-A-Trail program where volunteers are organized to pick up litter along 50 kilometres of city roads and 38 nature trails.

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Meanwhile the homeless crisis continues to grow and with the water levels low at this time of the year more encampments are seen along the beaches along with subsequent discarded trash and belongings. It is unclear if and how the programs will address this ongoing issue.

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The City of Kamloops encourages residents to get involved in keeping the city clean

Mike O’Reilly did not return requests for comment in time for publication.

Trash seen on the banks at the Overlander Park beach in Kamloops.
Trash seen on the banks at the Overlander Park beach in Kamloops.

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