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Doing their share
Tusarvik students take part in national shoreline cleanup

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, Sept 26, 2012

Students at Tusarvik School in Repulse Bay did their share to help keep their community beautiful recently.

NNSL photo/graphic

Tusarvik School students Matilda Putulik and Melissa Siusangnark, right, work cleaning the shoreline at Repulse Bay in September of 2012. - photo courtesy of Sarah Williams

Grade 4 teacher Sarah Williams said the student body of about 380 from kindergarten to Grade 12 took part in a shoreline cleanup.

She said the vast majority of students took part, with every teacher taking their class out to participate.

"We did a whole blitz of the hamlet and broke down the shoreline areas into the creeks, areas along the bay and ditches - anything that has to do with water connecting to land," said Williams.

"This is a national initiative, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which was initially started by the Vancouver Aquarium.

"It was a provincial event that gained in popularity and spread across the country."

The Repulse students held their event ahead of the rest of the country due to weather conditions.

Tusarvik went ahead just before the Labour Day weekend, while the national cleanup was on Sept. 15.

Williams said the amount of garbage the students collected was incredible.

She said each class had 12 garbage bags and some went through multiple sets.

"We only had two grades take part in 2011, so it was great to have the whole school participate this year," she said.

"The hamlet does its own cleanup, so this was on and above what it collected.

"It's so windy in Repulse, all the garbage accumulates at the shore at one point or another."

Williams said the kids were totally into the cleanup.

She said senior students also tallied the data of what types of garbage were collected, to be submitted to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup organization as part of the national tabulation.

"Our dump is at the north end of town and only has a chain-link fence around it.

"The winds here are almost constant, travelling from north to south, so a lot of stuff blows out of there.

"The majority of garbage sits in people's cans or the dump, but it blows around from those collection points.

"The students would have stayed out longer, but it was a really cold day, so we had to get them back inside."

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