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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup Improves 41.5 Miles of Shoreline

Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup Improves 41.5 Miles of Shoreline

MEADVILLE -- The numbers are in for the September Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup. On Saturday, Sept. 20, volunteers picked up 5,168 pounds of trash along 41.5 miles of Lake Erie shoreline and waterways within the county.

Over 16-hundred volunteers cleaned up 18 different locations around Lake Erie and picked up 48,238 pieces of trash. Among the most unusual items found was an old liquor distilling still in Lake Erie and a 1950’s era automobile along Walnut Creek. The top five categories of collected trash were:
• Cigarette butts – 21,929
• Food wrappers – 6,536
• Plastic beverage bottles – 3,053
• Plastic Bottle Caps – 2,311
• Straws and Stirrers – 1,576

“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 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.

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 115,033 pounds of trash from the Lake Erie shoreline.

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the oldest and largest volunteer-driven, beach cleanup effort of its kind in the world, and this year celebrated its 28th 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 600,000 volunteers.

For more information, to volunteer for next year’s cleanup, visit http://nie.goerie.com/coastal-cleanup/.

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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