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DEP Seeks Volunteers for Lake Cleanup

Lake Erie Cleanup Seeks Volunteers to Inventory and Collect Trash on Saturday, Sept. 21
September  9, 2013

Erie – The Department of Environmental Protection invites the public to improve the Lake Erie watershed on Sept. 21 by participating in the 11th annual Pennsylvania/Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup (ICC).

For the past 10 years, more than 11,000 dedicated volunteers have removed in excess of 60 tons of debris and trash from the Lake Erie shoreline and watershed. Three years ago, volunteers began separating and tallying recyclables, and as a result, have collected more than three tons of recyclable materials from Lake Erie shores.

DEP is urging residents of northwestern Pennsylvania to help clean up trash around Erie County waterways from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Sept. 21.

“This is the 11th International Coastal cleanup along the Lake Erie shoreline and its tributaries,” DEP Northwest Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “As a result of our past success, we are working to increase volunteer numbers and cleanup locations. We look forward to again having a strong volunteer turnout to make this event another huge success.”

This year’s ICC will include 16 sites along the Lake Erie shoreline, from Raccoon Creek in western Erie County to North East Marina, 20 Mile Creek and Freeport Beach on the eastern end of the county. Additional sites are located in the Edinboro and McKean Township areas, and include Elk Creek at the I-79/McKean Exit, Edinboro University, and Mallory Run, the outlet of Edinboro Lake.

The information gathered during past cleanups has been used as educational material for environmental programs in local schools and highlighted in the Erie Times-News, which publishes a page dedicated to environmental issues every Tuesday during the school year.

The International Coastal Cleanup is the oldest and largest volunteer project of its kind and this year is celebrating its 26th anniversary around the globe. Beginning in 1986 with 12 sites on the Texas coastline, the ICC has transformed to more than 6000 sites in over 100 countries with more than 500,000 volunteers. It is the largest volunteer-driven beach cleanup effort of its kind across the world.

DEP’s Coastal Resources Management program has been the main sponsor of the PA-Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup since 2003. For more information or to volunteer, or check the Erie ICC statistics, visit www.goerie.com/coastalcleanup. For more information on the Ocean Conservancy, International Coastal Cleanup, visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup.

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