Nova Scotia

Advocate Harbour man fighting beach pollution one dumpster at a time

It's not an easy job, but Allen Shepherd of Advocate Harbour, N.S., can be regularly found at a beach in his community doing everything he can to keep the shoreline clean. As the tide comes in, it leaves behind rope, fishing gear and other trash.

'You can clean a beach and go back the next day and there's more trash that comes in overnight'

Allen Shepherd says he knows where some of the waste is coming from because of the tags on old fishing gear. (Submitted by Allen Shepherd)

It's not an easy job, but Allen Shepherd of Advocate Harbour, N.S., can be regularly found at a beach in his community doing everything he can to keep the shoreline clean.

As the tide comes in, it leaves behind rope, fishing gear and other trash.

"We're kind of known to be the driftwood capital of Nova Scotia, but with that driftwood comes everything else with it," said Shepherd, 46. "There's masses of garbage that comes in daily. You can clean a beach and go back the next day and there's more trash that comes in overnight."

Shepherd said a big pile of rope alone can fill three or four garbage bags.

Whenever the tide comes in, it leaves a fresh batch of waste to be cleaned up. (Submitted by Allen Shepherd)

This week, he packed enough old fishing gear to fill a dumpster, and it's not the first time he's filled one to the brim. So far this year, he's filled four dumpsters with waste from the beach.

Shepherd said he can tell where most of the fishing gear comes from by reading tags on some of the old traps that wash ashore. The gear mostly comes from southwestern Nova Scotia and Maine and makes its way to Advocate Harbour, which is located in the Bay of Fundy in Cumberland County.

Allen Shepherd regularly finds rope and other waste on the beach. (Submitted by Allen Shepherd)

Shepherd stores the garbage on his property until he runs out of space and then puts the waste into a dumpster that's available to him.

He said more needs to be done to clean up beaches.

Shepherd has filled four dumpsters this year with waste found on the beach. (Submitted by Allen Shepherd)

"It's a movement that has to happen, especially today with the attention that whales and birds are getting," said Shepherd. "I see on an almost daily basis seagulls flying around with bait straps hanging off their legs."

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