PRESS RELEASE: THE WATERSHED CENTER ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL GREAT LAKES CLEANUP

Contact:
Heather Smith

Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER®

231.935.1514 x3

hsmith@gtbay.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THE WATERSHED CENTER ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL GREAT LAKES CLEANUP

Traverse City, MI, April 4, 2022 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay is coordinating a series of shoreline cleanups around Grand Traverse Bay as part of the second annual Great Lakes CleanUP April 22- May 6, 2022. Registration for these events is free and open to the public at www.gtbay.org/events/great-lakes-cleanup.

Thanks to an Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant, The Watershed Center is partnering with dozens of organizations across the Great Lakes region to coordinate shoreline and near-shore cleanups to safeguard drinking water sources and critical habitats throughout the Great Lakes basin. The inaugural 2021 Great Lakes CleanUP engaged nearly 3,000 volunteers that collected over 72,000 pounds of trash across Great Lakes shorelines.

“We are pleased that our friends at Buffalo Niagara WATERKEEPER® are leading this coordinated effort across the Great Lakes basin,” said Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER® Heather Smith. “By removing trash along our shorelines, we are preventing man-made products such as plastics and other synthetic litter from threatening our drinking water and the health of fish and wildlife.”

Each year 22 million pounds of plastics enter the Great Lakes and pose a tremendous threat to the 40 million people that depend on the Great Lakes as a drinking water source and the hundreds of native species that live in and rely on the lakes. Plastic debris eventually breaks down into microplastics that bioaccumulate in fish and wildlife throughout the Great Lakes – from the largest sturgeon to the smallest microorganisms. Plastics also attract toxic chemicals such as PCBs that bind to plastic surfaces when present in water.

The Watershed Center’s 2022 cleanups along the Grand Traverse Bay shoreline include Do-It-Yourself contactless cleanups from April 22nd through May 6th. Trash collection kits will be provided. The Watershed Center and local partners will also be hosting several public beach cleanups:

  • Friday, April 22 at 2:30pm at the Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center in Peshawbestown
  • Saturday, April 30 at 1pm at the mouth of Mitchell Creek (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ property) in Traverse City
  • Saturday, April 30 at 2pm at the City of Traverse City Volleyball Beach
  • Tuesday, May 3 at 2pm at Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay

The Watershed Center is supported in the Great Lakes CleanUP by its local partners: Boyne Country Sports, City of Traverse City, Cotopaxi, Discovery Center Great Lakes, Elmwood Township, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Grand Traverse Freshwater Society, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Green Elk Rapids, Inland Seas Education Association, Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary Club, Village of Elk Rapids, and Village of Suttons Bay.