Many of the big news items these days are about the Environment: electric cars, energy issues, unusual weather, climate change and pollution. Enough people in the Town spoke up about this that the Town declared a Climate Emergency and established an advisory Committee. Major projects are under way to decide what Cobourg can do on this issue but meanwhile action was taken on an issue mentioned less often: Pollution. One pollution issue of particular concern is plastic waste in water bodies such as Oceans and Lake Ontario. In October 2020, in conjunction with “Pollution Probe”, Cobourg installed a Seabin (and some LittaTraps) – see report in Links below. And it’s still in operation! At the next CoW meeting on 19 April, Staff will present a report by Pollution Probe on Cobourg’s performance.
It seems to me to be unusual to get progress reports on these kinds of initiatives – so let’s look at the details.
What was installed
According to the report by Pollution Probe:
The Town of Cobourg joined the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup in October 2020 and currently maintains one Seabin at Cobourg Marina in Cobourg Harbour, and three LittaTraps on King Street, in the Harbour Parking Lot and the Cobourg Marina Parking Lot [See Cobourg News Blog link below].
Cobourg is one of 10 locations in Ontario – See Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup link below.
Data collected from the 2020 season showed that Cobourg was among the top three marinas collecting debris, with an average 162 pieces per day.
For 2022, the program plans to expand:
Expanding the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup in 2022
Lessons learned from the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup revealed that a critical component of utilizing plastic capture technologies to remove plastics from the Great Lakes was having dedicated individuals or teams available to regularly monitor devices, and collect and analyze the debris (including the amount and kinds of plastics) captured in the device.
…. We look forward to exploring how we can build on existing efforts in Cobourg using the objectives and strategies outlined herein to further contribute to ending plastic waste in our environment.
…. The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup will be expanding into the U.S. this year with nine new locations along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
….. Finally, opportunities to expand into Québec are also being pursued, and efforts are underway to grow sister initiative, the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup, in collaboration with Swim Drink Fish.
This program might not address Climate change but is probably less controversial and seems to be widely supported – although more work is required communicating to communities.
Previous Blog Posts
- Reducing Plastic Pollution in Cobourg Harbour – 30 October 2020 – report on installation of a Seabin in Cobourg Harbour.
- Dramatic Presentation on Climate Crisis – 20 November 2019 – Council then voted to declare a Climate Emergency.
- Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup
- Report by Pollution Probe as provided to Council (hosted on Cobourg News Blog)
- Town’s web page for Sustainability and Climate Change Emergency Advisory Committee
Cobourg Internet Link
- Cobourg’s Advisory Committees – including Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory Committee