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Campus to participate in international Coastal Cleanup Sept. 17 on three beaches
Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Adopt a Beach
Students sort and count trash items from Lake Erie at last year's annual Coastal Cleanup.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, SUNY Fredonia’s Academic Community Engagement (FACE) Center and EarthWorks, an environmental action group of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua County, will lead beach cleanups at Point Gratiot, Wright Park and Cedar Beach in Dunkirk. The beach sweeps are part of the Ocean Conservancy’s 26th International Coastal Cleanup campaign—the world's largest volunteer effort of its kind.

The beach cleanups will last from 12 to 2:30 p.m. Students needing transportation or wishing to carpool to the beaches should meet at 11:30 a.m. in the Fenton Hall parking lot. Those wishing to bike to the event, should meet at 11:20 a.m. in the Jewett Hall parking lot. All other volunteers should gather either at the Wright Park parking lot or at the Point Gratiot Park parking lot (across from the metal stairs that descend to the beach) at noon for a brief orientation.

Gloves, garbage bags, and Ocean Conservancy materials will be provided; however, volunteers are encouraged to reuse plastic shopping bags for trash collection and to bring their own work gloves if they have them. Volunteers should also bring a reusable water bottle, sunscreen and appropriate footwear.

At 1 p.m., volunteers will sort, weigh and catalog debris. Results from the cleanup will then be reported to the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy.

Over the past 25 years, Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup has become the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health. Nearly nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations have cleaned 145 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and the ocean on just one day each year.

They have recorded every item found, giving us a clear picture of the manufactured items impacting the health of humans, wildlife, and economies. Last year in New York, 9,235 volunteers cleaned 397.5 miles of beach, documenting and cleaning almost 187,000 pounds of trash from the shores of state waterways.

Locally, 74 student and community volunteers gathered 442.4 pounds of trash at Point Gratiot during 2010 ICC event. Worldwide, more than 615,000 ICC volunteers, from 114 countries, collectively removed more than 8 million pounds of trash—enough to cover 170 football fields.

In addition to the three beach sweeps, Fredonia’s Cub Scout Pack 267 will be leading a cleanup of a section of Canadaway Creek at 11 a.m. After arriving at the creek’s entrance to Lake Erie, the scouts will join other ICC participants to sort, weigh and catalog litter from the creek.

For more information about the creek hike and cleanup, please contact Thomas Annear at 679-9254.

Uniting the campus and community through collective action and environmental engagement, the beach and creek cleanups are part of the university’s Constitution Week activities. The event is sponsored by EarthWorks, Cub Scout Pack 267, the FACE Center and SUNY Fredonia’s Sustainability Committee and Office of Volunteer and Community Services. In case of severe weather, the rain date for the cleanups is Sunday, September 18th from 12 to 2:30 p.m. For more information about the event, please contact Mitch Cummings (EarthWorks) at 952-7490 or Christina Jarvis (SUNY Fredonia) at 673-3430.

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State University of New York at Fredonia