The Southeast Environmental Association (SEA) and Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS) are teaming up to clean the shoreline litter along the beach of St. Mary’s Bay on September 17 between 9am - 11am.
SEA was established in July 1992 and is a registered, non-profit charitable community organization working to improve the quality of life for those people living and working on PEI, and especially of those living in the SEA Watershed Management Region.
GEBIS began its presence on PEI in 2008 at the former Lobster Shanty North in Montague; a place still known by this name even today. It has been a registered charitable organization since 2009, engaging in promoting compassion and Buddhist teaching.
SEA and GEBIS share many similar goals when it comes to protecting the environment and supporting local communities. Both organizations are committed to teaching the importance of harmony and balance in the world, encouraging people to see the environment and their community as places to cherish and protect, and to providing opportunities for growing healthy places to live, work, and play while recognizing that, without a healthy environment, healthy communities will be difficult to achieve.
GEBIS is dedicated to protecting all lives out of compassion and caring, and shows their love for the planet. Venerable Dan, Director of Public Affairs for the monastery says, “What we are doing is cleaning up the beaches to prevent garbage from getting into the marine environment which can potentially cause entanglement, or if the birds eat it (the garbage), ingestion can cause serious problems as well.”
This will be the first time GEBIS joins forces in shoreline cleanup endeavours and it plans to make it an ongoing effort.
When GEBIS was looking for a site to engage in a cleanup, SEA, the regional watershed group, instantly came to mind. In the planning, mutual visitation by representatives from both groups certainly has brought the two groups closer, as collectively they share and support the same values and goals.
Jackie Bourgeois, Executive Director of SEA said, “We are here to provide assistance to our membership when we can and oftentimes we get calls from people asking for help in cleanups, support for habitat restoration work or stream crossing repairs, and other times we get calls from people requesting information about how they can make the environment better. By working with our members, we can achieve positive things together.” It was a request from a local St. Mary’s Bay resident who asked for support, so both SEA and GEBIS came together and scouted the beach to determine what would be needed.
The two organizations have registered this cleanup event through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (http://www.shorelinecleanup.ca/en/cleanup/event/ fallwinter2016/st-marys-bay), one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. Participants are expected to gather at 9am, spending two hours in community service as well as protecting the environment, and concluding with a social gathering on the shorefront. The event is expected to conclude no later than noon.
Ms Bourgeois said, “Litter and debris is a serious issue in every river, pond, estuary and watershed. Our trash impacts ecosystems and wildlife, so it is up to us to take action.”
Both SEA and GEBIS look forward to joining their effort and encourage everyone to follow their lead in this event on Coastal Cleanup Day.
“We hope the collaborated efforts will turn a virtuous droplet into a vast ocean and keep shorelines and waterways healthy from coast to coast,” Venerable Dan said.
Both organizations would like to thank the in-kind support of Culligan PEI for their donation of drinking water and we would like to thank participating volunteers who make these events even possible.