Divers, community invited to Earth Day cleanup on Saturday

Courtey Photo This photo submitted by Katie Wolf shows five mylar balloons found at Thompson’s Harbor State Park along Lake Huron. Great Lakes Great Responsibility founder Meag Schwartz says on the GLGR Facebook page, “Balloon releases have to eventually come down. Some alternatives to consider: planting a tree or floating (real) flowers on the water.”

ALPENA — Today is Earth Day, but Saturday is the day the community is invited to join divers in cleaning up the Alpena area.

Dive Into Earth Day: Community Cleanup is set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, starting from Starlite Beach. The event will be held, rain or shine.

Event organizer Meag Schwartz of Great Lakes Great Responsibility said people of all ages are encouraged to participate anywhere that they see a litter problem. Participants are asked to collect and count the pieces of litter they pick up, then meet at 11:45 a.m. at Starlite Beach to report their tally to Schwartz and celebrate the success of the event.

The litter tallies will then be added to the running total of the Great Lakes 1 Million Challenge, an initiative started in November to pick up 1 million pieces of trash in the Great Lakes Basin — coastal or inland — in an effort to keep trash out of the Great Lakes watershed. As of Wednesday afternoon, 25,911 pieces of litter have been picked up from the Great Lakes Basin, according to the Great Lakes Great Responsibility website, greatlakeslove.org.

“We are aiming for this to be a community-wide cleanup,” Schwartz said on Wednesday. “We want people to divide and conquer, all over Alpena.”

She said if you have a location in mind, start the cleanup there, using your own gloves and bags, but remember to keep a tally of the number of litter items collected.

“We want people to take responsibility for their own neighborhoods, or anywhere you’ve seen litter accumulate,” she added.

If you need supplies, or if you are unsure of where to start picking up trash, you can meet at Starlite Beach at 10 a.m. and either pick up trash there, or ask for a good place to go for the cleanup.

Schwartz said it’s important for youth to get involved.

“Youth are our future,” she said. “They are the next generation of environmental leaders. It is important to instill responsibility in them, and awe for the Great Lakes. They are a natural treasure, so we want to keep them protected.”

In addition to trash pickup on land, divers will be heading into Lake Huron to retrieve trash in the water. If you are a diver wanting to participate, contact Great Lakes Divers at 989-916-9990 or message their Facebook page.

The person who picks up the most trash will win a Discover SCUBA package valued at $75.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today