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Lake Erie Cleanup Seeks Volunteers For International Coastal Cleanup Sept. 20

The Department of Environmental Protection invites the public to improve the Lake Erie watershed on September 20 by participating in the 12th annual Pennsylvania/Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup.

DEP is urging residents to help clean up trash around Erie County waterways from 9 a.m. until noon.

“This county-wide effort is an important part of protecting and enhancing our water resources,” DEP Northwest Regional Office Director John Guth said. “Engaging residents in this important cleanup helps to connect them with their surrounding environment to build a sense of ownership for the natural resources that we all use and enjoy.”

This year’s ICC will include 18 sites along the Lake Erie shoreline, from Raccoon Creek Park in Springfield Township to North East Marina in North East Township and south to Edinboro Lake. Two new sites were added this year at the newly established Bridger Park in Millcreek Township and the East Avenue Boat Launch and beach area in Erie. 

For the past 11 years, more than 12,000 local volunteers have walked 317 miles of shoreline and picked up more than 100,000 pounds of trash during the ICC in Erie County. During this time, more than 180,000 cigarette butts, 54,000 plastic food wrappers and 48,000 beverage containers have been collected. Some of the most unusual items found include a litter of kittens, a car, a full set of clothes and a mannequin.

Locally, the ICC began in 2003 at Presque Isle State Park. Since then, the Lake Erie ICC has flourished into 18 sites across the county with five local universities involved and countless other businesses, organizations and citizens coming out to clean up the Lake Erie shoreline.

New group participants for this year include Mercyhurst University, Allegheny College, Millcreek Township Recycling Department and Pittsburgh based non-profit, Paddle Without Pollution.

The ICC is the oldest and largest volunteer project of its kind, and this year is celebrating its 29th anniversary. Beginning in 1986 with 12 sites on the Texas coastline, the ICC has transformed to more than 6,000 sites in 92 countries with more than 600,000 volunteers. It is the largest volunteer-driven beach cleanup effort of its kind across the world.

Last year, 12.3 million pounds of trash were removed and 12,914 miles of waterways were walked and boated during the global cleanup.

DEP’s Coastal Resources Management program has been the main sponsor of the Pennsylvania/Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup since 2003.

For more information or to get involved, visit PA Lake Erie Coastal Cleanup webpage or call 814-217-9634.


9/22/2014

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