A deep dive cleanup is taking place in Kahnawake tomorrow (Saturday, July 17) as Kahnawa’kehró:non are invited to come together to remove waste from the environment; both on land and underwater.
The 360° Clean-up Operation event led by the Kahnawà:ke Environment Protection Office (KEPO) is organized in collaboration with Opération Nettoyage 360°, the GRAME, Mission 100 Tonnes and Nathalie Lasselin Urban Water Odyssey.
The unusually thorough cleanup is part of a larger campaign headed by the participating organizations, which has the objective to remove 10 metric tons of waste from the environment, as well as plant 1,000 trees and shrubs along the banks of the St. Lawrence River throughout the Montreal region.
All the while, the ambitious project also seeks to raise public awareness about various water issues.
“The event is dedicated to cleaning up the waste on the Tekakwitha Island and in the waters with the help of the organizations, community volunteers and divers,” explained KEPO general manager Onawa Jacobs. “We jumped on the opportunity to work with them (organizations) and continue our efforts in protecting the environment in Kahnawake.”
As work continues to naturalize the shoreline and restore the island, along with the Recreation Bay, the KEPO general manager emphasized how critical it was to continue with other initiatives that seek to conserve the territory’s environment.
With this being the first 360° cleanup the community is taking part in, Jacobs expressed enthusiasm in Kahnawa’kehró:non uniting efforts to join a movement to ensure a garbage-free environment for all.
“We really encourage community members to come and participate in the cleanup this weekend,” she said. “To take a little bit of time to give back to the community, to lead by example, and to actively provide care for a special part of our territory.”
While registration for divers has already closed, community members are encouraged to participate by joining the land-based volunteers team from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For an additional incentive, participating volunteers will have the chance to win a prize package with over $100 worth of eco-friendly products, including handmade soap, bamboo cutlery and organic tea.
Laurence Brisson Dubreuil, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door