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Friday, December 13, 2013

Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup Improves 25 Miles of Shoreline

Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup Improves 25 Miles of Shoreline

Erie – The numbers are in for the September Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup. On Saturday, Sept. 21, volunteers picked up 2,484 pounds of trash along 24.75 miles of Lake Erie shoreline and waterways within the county.

As those 676 volunteers cleaned 13 different locations around Lake Erie, they also documented the collection of 36,270 pieces of trash. Among the most unusual items found were a full set of clothing and a toilet. The top five categories of collected trash were:

Cigarette butts – 16,276
Food wrappers – 3,161
Plastic pieces – 2,754
Fishing line – 1,756 feet
Plastic beverage bottles – 1,574

“Our 11th cleanup along the Lake Erie shoreline and its tributaries was another success, in spite of this year’s inclement weather,” DEP Northwest Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “As a result of the continued success of this event, we are working to increase volunteer numbers and cleanup locations down the road.”

Information gathered in 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.

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the oldest and largest volunteer project of its kind and this year celebrated its 27th anniversary. From its beginnings in 1986 with 12 sites on the Texas coastline, the ICC has transformed to more than 6,000 sites in about 100 countries with more than 500,000 volunteers. It is the largest volunteer-driven, beach cleanup effort of its kind in the world.

DEP’s Coastal Resources Management program has been the main sponsor of the PA-Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup since 2003. For more information, to volunteer for next year’s cleanup, or check the Erie ICC statistics, visit www.goerie.com/coastalcleanup.

For more information on the Ocean Conservancy, International Coastal Cleanup, visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup.

For more information on watersheds, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Water Management.

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