Kits Beach clean up

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Ever wonder how Vancouver’s sandy beaches stay safe and clean. Today in the Vancouver Sun, Nicholas Read reviews the best places to lay your towel in Vancouver (Kits Beach is ranked #1) and sheds a little light on beach maintenance.

Kitsbeach_1 It has to be maintained regularly by a team of two operations staff who sift it for potentially dangerous debris, and rearrange and replace the logs as circumstances dictate. Derek Sayles and his partner, Gary Carr, sift the sand on all nine beaches at least once a week. The worst thing they ever found was a body — a suicide who had thrown himself off Burrard Bridge washed up on Second Beach. Otherwise it’s the usual assortment of bottle caps, broken beer bottles (especially at grad time) and wood chips that float in from offshore barges. A sign of the times, Sayles says, is the growing number of used needles as well.

I’ve witnessed the tractors at work in the early morning at Kits Beach and it’s quite a task. They actually move all the logs to the east end of the beach, pull a giant rake behind the tractor back an forth across the sand, and then put all the logs back in rows facing the ocean. Kind of like a Sand Zamboni.

Last modified: July 2, 2005

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