Wednesday, January 9, 2019

KPB: Over 13,000 Volunteers Collected 523,855 Pounds Of Trash During 2018 International Coastal Cleanup Of PA

On January 9, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced 13,297 volunteers worked in their communities to remove 523,855 pounds of trash and tires from Pennsylvania streams and watersheds during the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup.
Keep PA Beautiful helped groups, civic organizations, family and friends organize 577 cleanup events across the state during September and October.
One of the many groups participating was Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful affiliate, PA CleanWays of Elk County which has participated in the International Coastal Cleanup for 4 years.
Last year, volunteers from the community, and the local St. Marys Area High School Ecology Club, collected over 2,380 pounds of trash and tires from a 2.5 mile section of the Clarion River.
“Local clubs, organizations, and volunteer groups have been cleaning up portions of Elk County for decades. When the Conservation District heard about the International Coastal Cleanup through Bekki Titchner, Elk County Recycling/Solid Waste Coordinator, we knew that it was something we wanted to be involved in,” said Kate Wehler, Resource Conservation Specialist, Elk County Conservation District. “2019 will be my fifth year working on this event and I couldn’t be more excited. Every year it grows and every year we add new partners.
“Since much of the Clarion River flows through PA State Game Lands, our local PA Game Commission land management crew has been helping us transport material from the collection points along the river, to the landfill,” explained Wehler.  “Advanced Disposal has continued to be a great partner, working with us on free disposal costs.
“The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Ridgway based office has offered time, staff, and volunteers to continue to make this event successful,” said Wehler.  “It is truly amazing all that can be accomplished when like-minded, passionate, individuals get together with a common goal.
“We are very appreciative of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, PA CleanWays of Elk County, and the International Coastal Cleanup for helping make it all possible,” added Wehler.
“We are honored to partner with the Ocean Conservancy to provide support for our affiliates and local individuals and groups,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.  “We are grateful for groups such as the Elk County Conservation District and local volunteers who have become annual participants in the program. Our oceans connect the entire planet.
“Once trash reaches our oceans, it can cause harm to sea life by entangling them or being mistaken for food,” said Reiter.  “Plastics and other debris work their way up the food chain, affecting what we consume. It really has dire consequences.
“Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their personal time to get wet and dirty to help keep our waterways clean,” said Reiter.
The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest volunteer effort to improve the health of the world’s oceans and waterways. The cleanup gives citizens around the world the opportunity to clean up their local waterways and to be a part of a larger movement.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful coordinates the effort in Pennsylvania.
Funding for the International Coastal Cleanup coordination in Pennsylvania is provided by the Department of Environmental Protection – Bureau of Waste Management and Coastal Resource Management.
Click Here for more information about the International Coastal Cleanup in Pennsylvania.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.
Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s Electronics Waste website.
Sign ups will begin soon for the 2019 Great American Cleanup of PA.
(Photo: Volunteers from PA CleanWays of Elk County.)

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