Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beach Clean Up on Earth Day Saturday 4-24-10

Help ISEA Clean Up the Region's Beaches and Steam Banks

It's that time of the year, when the ice and snow has melted off the shorelines, and people start thinking about summer vacations along the beach. Unfortunately many will find the debris left behind from the previous season and from the winter’s winds and currents.

ISEA Beach Cleaners on Mackinac Island

The Inland Seas Education Association is looking for Beach Cleanup volunteers to remove trash from along the shoreline of Lake Michigan and inland waterways starting April 24 during Earth Week and going until May 10, 2010. For the past 20 years ISEA has organized spring Beach Cleanup events that cover shoreline areas of rivers, lakes, and streams in Manistee, Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Antrim, Kalkaska, Wexford and Charlevoix counties. Bordering county residents and groups can also take part in the cleanup by picking up trash and debris along rivers, lakes and streams in their area, which are all part of the Great Lakes Watershed.

ISEA will be working with the City of Traverse City volunteers on Saturday, April 24th from 9:00 AM till noon and encourages the beach cleaners to meet in the Farmers Market Parking lot to get a data card and report which area shoreline park you will be cleaning.

Another group will meet at the Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay, at 9:00 AM on April 24th, to clean Suttons Bay Creek (Waterwheel Park) and the Village Marina area. Bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes. ISEA will provide the bags, data cards and clip boards.

“Volunteers in this event come from all walks of life including: businesses, schools, community groups, family and individuals,” states Sally Somsel, ISEA beach cleanup coordinator. “The volunteers all seem to have two things in common and that is their love for the Great Lakes and their commitment to help keep them clean.” Beach litter is more than unsightly, it’s dangerous. Shoreline debris can cause injury to humans and animals. Small children play with cigarette butts, fish are entangled in balloons, and birds trap their beaks in discarded food packaging. Ingested plastics can cause internal injury, intestinal blockage, and starvation. Thousands of animals, including fish, turtles, and birds die every year from ingestion or entanglement in beach debris.In 2009, ISEA's beach cleanup event held along the shores of the Grand Traverse area in Northwest Michigan was featured by the National Environmental Education Week.

The beach cleanup event held each spring brings together school children, fishermen, boaters, businesses, government employees, scuba divers, scout troops, and others who care about our beaches and waters. For complete instructions on how to help with the Beach Cleanup go to the ISEA website at http://www.schoolship.org/ and click on the “Beach CleanUp” button.

You may down load and print a beach cleanup data card at: www.schoolship.org/files/inlandseas/81.pdf. Or call the ISEA office at 271-3077 and report which beach area you would like to clean, and request a data card. Thank you for your support!

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