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RBC Blue Water Project treasure hunters clean up on the Thames

The team, sporting their blue RBC t-shirts were watched from a safe distance by an appreciative crowd of Londoners and tourists.

A group of intrepid RBC employees ventured into the mud along the River Thames, London, on a balmy English evening on 15 August, in search of treasure.

Colleagues from Capital Markets and Wealth Management gave up their evening to remove rubbish from a 200-metre stretch of the riverbank. The activity took place in partnership with Thames21, an RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant beneficiary and charity organisation dedicated to cleaning and protecting one of Great Britain’s most important and historic waterways.

After centuries of use, stretches of the riverbank along the River Thames are littered with rubbish. Some of the litter is relatively harmless but many items can decay and leech toxins into the river, damaging delicate ecosystems and harming marine life.

The RBC team filled two large containers with rubbish including a gas cylinder, old wheelbarrows, pipes and steel rope. Among the stranger items found were old Victorian smoking pipes and animal bones from the ancient London slaughterhouses, including one rather large femur. The mud can also occasionally reveal much older finds, such as the Anglo-Saxon gold and jewellery now residing in the Museum of London. Unfortunately, the team found no real treasure but their service to the Thames21 project was invaluable.

Interested in doing something similar in your community? RBC has become a proud supporter of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup through a recent grant of $100,000 from the RBC Blue Water Project. A joint initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and the WWF, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup takes place September 15 – 23, 2012 in locations all across Canada. Visit the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for more information.

The RBC Blue Water Project is a wide-ranging, multi-year program to foster a culture of water stewardship so people have clean, fresh water today and tomorrow. Click here for more information.

“It was good to have the opportunity to provide practical help to Blue Water” Lucy