Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup Improves 67.5 Miles Of Shoreline, Waterways

The numbers are in for the Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup. Beginning September 19, and ending on October 2, volunteers picked up 6,853 pounds of trash along the 67.5 miles of Lake Erie shoreline and waterways within Erie County.
Over 1700 hundred volunteers cleaned up 27 different locations around Lake Erie and picked up 70,909 pieces of trash. Among the most unusual items found were a vehicle drive shaft and a toilet tank along Elk and Walnut Creeks.
Other trash collected includes: Cigarette butts – 17,496; Food wrappers – 7,648; Plastic beverage bottles – 3,155; Plastic Bottle Caps – 4,202; and Straws and Stirrers – 2,814
“Every year a team of dedicated volunteers donate their time to pick up the trash that others have left behind,” DEP Northwest Regional Director John Guth said. “I am always impressed by the number of volunteers, the amount of trash they remove, and the positive impact it makes on the surrounding coastline.”
Information gathered in the past cleanups has been used as educational material for environmental programs in local schools and highlighted in the Erie Times News, Newspapers in Education section.
During the school year, the Erie Times News publishes a page dedicated to environmental issues every Tuesday.
Anna McCartney, Communications and Education Specialist with PA Sea Grant, coordinated with local teachers and these schools to help pick up trash: JoAnn Connell School, McKinley Elementary School, Fairview High School, Fort LeBoeuf High School, Harding Elementary School, Perry Elementary School, Union City High School, St. Luke’s School, St. Gregory School, Strong Vincent High School, Central Tech High School, and Edison Elementary School.
DEP’s Coastal Resources Management Program has been the main sponsor of the PA Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup since 2003. Since then, the cleanup has removed 121,886 pounds of trash from the Lake Erie shoreline and watershed tributaries.
The International Coastal Cleanup is the oldest and largest volunteer-driven, beach cleanup effort of its kind in the world, and this year celebrated its 29th anniversary. From its beginnings in 1986 with 12 sites in the Texas coastline, the ICC has transformed to more than 6,000 sites in about 100 countries with 600,000 volunteers.
For more information, to volunteer for next year’s cleanup, visit the Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup webpage and the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup webpage.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful coordinates the International Coastal Cleanup Program generally throughout the Commonwealth.

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