Hoping to build on last year’s record-breaking participation in the annual September Adopt-a-Beach™ cleanup, the Alliance for the Great Lakes seeks new and returning volunteers for this year’s event, set for Sept. 19.
The event -- which saw nearly a 50 percent increase in the number of volunteers last fall -- aims to again clear tens of thousands of pounds of trash from shorelines in the Great Lakes states of Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.
"The September Adopt-a-Beach™ event is the perfect outlet for people who want to do something to help our Great Lakes,” said the Alliance’s Stephanie Smith. “The benefits go beyond removing litter the day of the event. It’s a fun way to get together with others who love the lakes, and it’s a learning experience for all who participate.”
Dates and times for the event -- which is part of the International Coastal Cleanup -- may vary depending upon location. Volunteers are encouraged to check the Alliance’s registration website for up-to-date information.
Last year more than 6,191 volunteers in three Great Lakes states took part in the one-day event, an increase of 2,000 participants from the previous year’s event. All totaled, volunteers removed nearly 25,000 pounds of trash from 185 locations in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
Adopt-a-Beach™ is about more than picking up trash: Volunteers further the Alliance’s healthy beaches campaign by entering their findings into a growing regional database that helps identify the most prevalent sources of beach litter. Information gathered during the event is used to encourage changes in behaviors that contribute to beach litter.
Beach litter is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous. Small children play with cigarette butts, fish consume small pieces of plastic, and birds become entangled in fishing line and balloon strings – all common culprits found on Great Lakes shorelines.
The September event is open to all, including families, individuals, businesses, schools and community groups. The cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day, which is the world’s largest shoreline cleanup -- with cleanups taking place in more than 104 countries.
The Illinois and Indiana events are supported by ITW Hi-Cone, Brunswick Public Foundation, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Searle Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, the Grand Victoria Foundation, the Field Foundation of Illinois Inc., Scotts Miracle-Gro, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Aveda, Dr. Scholl, and in partnership with park districts along the shoreline.
For more information or to register online, see http://www.greatlakes.org/adoptabeach.
For questions about volunteering, contact the following Alliance staff member:
Illinois and Indiana:
Abby Crisostomo, 312-939-0838 x228 or firstname.lastname@example.org