Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Volunteers Needed For Sept. 16 Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup

For the fifteenth year, this Saturday, September 16, will see hundreds of volunteers cleaning the coastline as part of the Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup at 18 locations in the Lake Erie Watershed and Erie.  
This international effort is organized by founding partners, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and long-time partners Erie County Departments of Planning and Health, Erie Times News, and Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
Over the past 14 years, more than 17,000 volunteers removed 127,496 pounds of debris and trash along the lakeshore and watershed. This includes more than a quarter million individual cigarette butts, which remain the number-one item collected.
“The health of Presque Isle and the associated local watershed are critical to the environmental health of our area,” said Jim Miller, DEP Northwest Regional Director. “Erie is fortunate to have 14 years’ worth of data, which is being used for educational purposes. This information is being utilized to help educate children locally, who we hope will take an interest and make a difference in their community.”
Cleanup participants record each item collected and submit the information to the Ocean Conservancy, who is tallying data from around the world. Locally, the data collected is used by Sea Grant to write environmental educational material for the Newspaper in Education curriculum published and distributed by the Erie Times News and by partners in outreach programs.  
The International Coastal Cleanup, the oldest and largest volunteer effort of its kind, is celebrating its 31st anniversary. Since its start, more than 2 million people from all over the world have taken part in the annual cleanup event.
For more information, visit the Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup webpage.

Sign up now for International Coastal Cleanups in other areas of the state through October 31.  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful coordinates this program for the entire state.

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