Frequently Asked Questions.

dot Why do I need to complete Data Card 1 – Debris Inventory?
dot Why do I need to complete Data Card 2 – Health Check?
dot What will the Comité ZIP do with the data?
dot How can I participate in a cleanup?
dot How do I organize a cleanup?
dot Why is it important to clean shorelines?
dot What do I do if I find an animal entangled in debris?
dot What do I do if I find a syringe?
dot What do I do with the trash bags?
dot What is the My Clean Beach program? ?
dot What is the Comité ZIP Ville-Marie?
dot What is the relationship between the Comité ZIP Ville-Marie and the My Clean Beach program?



dotWhy do I need to complete Data Card 1 – Debris Inventory ?

Although we understand that your primary objective is to clear debris from your shoreline, by completing this form you compile important information on the nature of the debris found on your site. This will enable you to identify the source of problems and perhaps find a way to address them.

Furthermore, the information you collect helps us document shoreline littering in the province. We use it to raise public awareness about littering and change how people act regarding it.


dotWhy do I need to complete Data Card 2 – Health Check ?

This card provides a quick health check for your site. If you clean it year after year, you will see how the health of your shoreline evolves and will be able to identify emerging issues in order to nip them in the bud. This card also helps you make recommendations to improve the health of your riparian habitat.



dotWhat will the Comité ZIP do with the data ?

The data that you send us will help us document debris-related water pollution and create a database on the health of Québec shorelines. At the end of the cleanup season, we compile and analyze all the data that we received. We use the results to education the general public about littering. Our analysis also helps us identify projects that must be initiated.



dotHow can I participate in a cleanup ?

It’s easy. Check the list of cleanups that are already organized by clicking here.
You haven’t found a cleanup near you? Why not organize one? Visit the Cleanup section to find all the tools you need.


dotHow do I organize a cleanup ?

There's nothing simpler. You’ll find all the tools you need in the Cleanup section.

- Remember that you only need a few volunteers to make a difference.



dotWhy is it important to clean shorelines ?

A cleanup is a good way to :

- Have a direct, positive impact on the environment ;
- Participate in a group activity ;
- Mingle with people sharing a common interest in environmental protection ;
- Participate in monitoring shoreline problems in Québec ;
- Learn about the riparian habitats, their fauna and flora, their problems and possible solutions ;
- Improve water quality ;
- Improve the aesthetics of the cleaned site ;
- Reduce negative human impacts on wildlife by reducing the risk of injury and death due to debris ;
- Favour productive angling by reducing the impact of debris on sport fish ;
- Increase the pleasure of swimming, fishing, wildlife watching and plant observation ;
- Live in a healthy environment !

In short, a cleanup is a great opportunity for schools, environmental groups and concerned citizens to get involved in an activity having a direct, positive impact on the environment. And let’s not forget that this positive impact extends beyond the site cleaned since the debris collected will not pose a problem elsewhere. It is also important to remove debris from the water because it causes problems for the fauna and flora. Animals get entangled in it or eat it, which may cause injury or even death. Moreover, several types of debris break down and release chemicals that negatively affect the entire ecosystem.


dotWhat do I do if I find an animal entangled in debris ?

NEVER attempt to free an entangled animal yourself. You will cause it considerable stress and possible injury, as well as endanger yourself. Instead, notify the appropriate authorities (SCPA, park administration, etc).


dotWhat do I do if I find a syringe ?

Finding a syringe is rare but possible. Always use extreme caution when handling needles and other biomedical waste.

- Keep the needle away from the body and pointed towards the ground.
- Wear sturdy gloves when you pick up syringes.
- Place the syringe in a rigid container with a lid.
- Don’t dispose of syringes or containers filled with syringes with regular trash. Bring them back to a pharmacy.
- An injury made by a syringe must be treated immediately. If a volunteer is pricked by a syringe, make the cut bleed without damaging the skin, then wash with soap and water. The participant must be taken immediately to the nearest hospital to receive adequate medical treatment, administered within two hours. Take the syringe with you to the hospital.


dotWhat do I do with the trash bags ?

Before cleanup day, it is important to contact your municipality to arrange for the disposal of the trash and recycling bags. The municipality will either arrange everything itself or refer you to the right person for help.


dotWhat is the My Clean Beach program ?

The goal of the My Clean Beach program is to encourage citizens to organize cleanups and to get them involved in early detection of riparian issues.

We aim to:

- Increase the sense of responsibility of communities toward their shoreline habitats;
- Educate and raise community awareness regarding shoreline habitats, their importance and problems that affect them;
- Encourage environmental monitoring of shoreline habitats by communities;
- Demonstrate to communities the advantages of protecting shoreline habitats.

The program provides tools that will enable you to organize a safe cleanup and identify riparian issues affecting your site. The tools also include information on riparian habitats and their importance to man. You can now easily get involved in protecting and restoring a shoreline dear to you.


dotWhat is the Comité ZIP Ville-Marie ?

ZIP Ville-Marie is part of a network of 14 ZIPs (“zones d’intervention prioritaire” or “areas of prime concern”) scattered along the St. Lawrence River and under the umbrella organization Stratégies Saint-Laurent (www.strategiessl.qc.ca).

Founded in 1996, the Comité ZIP Ville-Marie is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote integrated, participatory, sustainable management of the St. Lawrence River and related resources in its territory, which covers Montréal’s South Shore from Longueuil to Kahnawake and the west half of the Island of Montréal.

For more information: www.zipvillemarie.org


dotWhat is the relationship between the Comité ZIP Ville-Marie and the My Clean Beach program ?

The My Clean Beach program was initiated by the Comité ZIP du Sud-de-l’Estuaire, which still coordinates the saltwater section of the program. The Comité ZIP Ville-Marie joined the program later and has adapted the initial toolkit, developed for the saltwater zone of the St. Lawrence River, to freshwater ecosystems. Some new tools have been added. It is the Comité ZIP Ville-Marie that coordinates the freshwater section of the program.