A snorkeler checks the underwater shoreline. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)

Upper Cowichan River cleanup set for Sunday in Lake Cowichan

It’s a rite of summer at the Lake: clean up the heritage river as the tourist season winds down

Dive in, have fun, and help keep the Cowichan River clean.

The annual upper river cleanup and bottle drive is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 18 from 8:30 to 1:30 p.m. starting at Central Park in Lake Cowichan.

The Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society is asking everyone to come out and lend a hand.

There’s a free continental breakfast and barbecue lunch included for everyone who registers. From 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. it’s time to register, which is required for insurance purposes for all participants. Then you can enjoy your breakfast before heading out for the cleanup activities which are held between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. After that, participants can make their way to Jake’s at the Lake for a free lunch of barbecued hamburgers.

This is a family friendly event; there is plenty to do and opportunities for all ages and abilities to help out on shore as well as in the water. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

There are plenty of things to do for people with a yen to get into the water. But, you need to bring swimwear and gear for working in and around the river, such as gloves and water-ready shoes. If you plan to work in the river, bring your own flotation devices, snorkels, masks, tanks, etc. and something warm and dry to wear afterwards.

There are also opportunities for folks who don’t fancy getting wet. They can walk the banks and pick up garbage, which would otherwise wash into the river when the rains come.

Don’t forget to slosh on some environmentally friendly sunscreen and wear a hat.

People with pickup trucks and boats can also make themselves useful, so check with organizers on the spot.

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Young people plan how they’re going to help out the cleanup effort. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

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