Third and fourth grade students, along with ten teachers and staff members, from Algoma Elementary School swept the beach on September 16, 2016 and became part of a world-wide event. Coordinated by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Adopt-a-Beach cleanups took place on beaches and shorelines in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Wisconsin. These cleanups are held as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, a global event that is the world’s largest volunteer effort on behalf of ocean and waterway health. Locally, this was a collaboration with Algoma Parks and Recreation and Friends of Crescent Beach, a member of the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership.
Forming the Teams
The students and teachers were split up into four-person teams. A recorder, a collector, and two pickers. The recorder,with their clipboards, noted what kind of items were being found on the beach and bluff. The collectors carried the buckets for the team and received all that the pickers could find. Pickers spotted beach trash and delivered it to the collectors. Driftwood and feathers didn’t count because they are part of the natural ecosystem of the beach.
One hundred students armed with buckets, clipboards, gloves and boundless energy walked Crescent beach and the bluff above. They were looking for items that didn’t belong there. Students learned that trash presents a threat to Crescent Beach’s health. The student teams were deployed to their areas with their teachers. It made for an impressive display of community involvement with a purpose. Some of the students had not been on the beach before and enthusiastically learned much about it.
Why it is important to keep Crescent Beach clean:
- A clean beach sends a positive message about our community.
- We save our City money when it doesn’t have to pay someone to pick up trash.
- Much of the trash is not biodegradable, so if it remained on our beach or in our water it would stay in our environment for a long time.
- Fish, birds and other wildlife can mistake trash for food and choke, get poisoned or become sick.
- Even if wildlife doesn’t get sick, eating trash or human food can make them feel full and they won’t eat the nutritious food they need to be healthy.
- As trash breaks down, chemicals can be released into the environment that make people and wildlife sick.
- Litter attracts birds that hang around on our beach and cause bacterial pollution that may cause illness.
Crescent Beach Cleanup Results
- Total Pieces of Trash collected: 1078
- Total weight: 25 lbs.
Count of most frequently found items:
- Cigarette butts – 306
- Tiny Trash (foam, plastic, glass pieces) – 280
- Food wrappers – 152
- Plastic bags – 128
- Take-out food containers – 65
- Bottles and cans – 59
- Cups or plates – 36
Crescent Beach takes many people caring about the beach. To keep it clean. To keep it healthy. To make a difference for the good of our community. There was nothing small about the size of our workforce this day. They should be proud of their efforts and contribution to Friends of Crescent Beach being a Live Algoma Brightspot! Job well done!