The beach cleanup on 06.08.19 sponsored by The Current Issues Activists of Iroquois HS was a major success. The students were enthusiastic, informed, passionate, and energetic. We collected 9 bags of trash and 1 bag of everyday objects that Alexis Oltmer will be including as plastic fossils in a clear rock sculpture. The students became very engaged in finding the oddest or most weird plastic objects from the days clean up. It was so much fun to have community members become so enthusiastic about elements from the clean ups I too have come to enjoy and seek out. Putting value on finding odd or interesting plastic pollution pieces is helpful in lifting your spirits. After cleaning the beach for 2.5 years and seeing year round plastic pollution at the beach, you need an incentive or fun element to contrast against the harsh reality of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes.
Over 22 million lbs of plastic pollution enters the Great Lakes each year. Plastic Pollution which finds its way into our oceans primarily finds its way via fresh body water systems, the main goal of For Future Generations & Plastic Free Buffalo is to reduce the amount of plastic in our Great Lakes to make a direct impact on lessening oceanic plastic pollution. Each clean up of Emerald Beach is listed on The Alliance for the Great Lakes, adopt a beach & data of all items found are provided to The Alliance for the Great Lakes for use in future policy’s & scientific information. Each clean up will be cemented in history and will hopefully be used to positively impact our community. I hope that each student has been empowered to host their own clean ups, make lifestyle changes to reduce their plastic footprint & continues to advocate for the health of our Planet. They have certainly inspired me to continue in endeavors to advocate for the reduction of plastic pollution in our environments. For images from this clean up click here.