The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It was a Cloudy and Blustery Day

It was a blustery day on Lake Michigan yesterday, windy enough to draw the kite-boarders out into the surf. They zipped along the top of the water, leaping off the top of cresting waves.

I was out at St. Joseph's Silver Beach -- the closest lake access to my home in Battle Creek -- for the Adopt-A-Beach (tm) clean-up day organized by the Alliance for the Great Lakes. The Alliance does great work for our Great Lakes.

This annual 'mobilze the masses' effort does more than just get people out to clean our beaches. The Alliance also gathers data on how much and what type of trash was gathered. They've been collecting this data for 20 years now. Over 150 TONS of trash have been collected to date.

The site coordinator for Silver beach was the Gamma Iota Sigma professional fraternity at Olivet College. They brought the bags and gloves and data sheets for all of us to work with.

We gathered approximately 40 pounds of trash including hundreds of cigarette butts and pop caps, lots of miscellaneous plastic bits and straws, bottles and cans, balloon bits still attached to ribbons, and one weathered sleeping bag.

Last year over 5,000 people took part in this cleanup. This year it was expanded into Wisconsin, so there will probably be even more participants.

I picked up a lot of trash as I walked the shoreline last year. It felt great to be part of a larger group caring for our lakes yesterday.

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