Conservation group makes Christmas tree from ocean trash

A Nova Scotia conservation group has transformed washed up nets, buoys and lobster trap parts into a colourful Christmas tree to raise awareness about the problems caused by lost and broken fishing gear.

“We like to do art displays to kind of help with a little bit of that awareness,” Angela Riley from the group Scotian Shores told CTV News. “We wanted to showcase some of the most common items.”

Scotian Shores was founded in 2020 with a mission to clean up Nova Scotia’s shorelines and bring attention to the environmental impacts of ocean plastics. To date, the group says they have removed more than 45,000 kilograms of trash from Nova Scotia’s coast, a small part of which now decorates and forms an improvised Christmas tree in picturesque Fisherman’s Cove.

Scotian Shores collects much of its haul in the Bay of Fundy, which famously has the highest tides in the world.

“We do a lot of focus in the Bay of Fundy, because the high tides tend to suck in a lot of garbage there,” Riley explained. “It’s inundated. I call it the great garbage patch of Nova Scotia.”

That includes fishing debris or so-called “ghost gear” carried from both Canadian and American boats plying the rough North Atlantic. 

“If you’re from Nova Scotia, you know how crazy the seas can be, so some of it is lost through storms or whale entanglement,” Riley said.

You can learn more about the efforts to clean Nova Scotia’s shores on Scotian Shore’s website and Facebook page.

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