Clean Sweep organized by Greystone Nature Preserve

The International Coastal Clean Up is sponsored by the Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, DC each September. All around the world, environmentalists pick up litter from beaches and record every single item. The lists of debris are complied to determine who are the polluters and where is their evidence most common.

In the 40 years this huge environmental effort has taken place, many changes have occurred in the type and amount of litter collected from beaches.

The Greystone Nature Preserve organized two such efforts in September and the results were most rewarding. At the Barcelona Beach in Westfield, a team of service-minded students from the Cassadaga Job Corps Center patrolled the half mile beach and found it relatively clean of debris. The Resource Center Travelers Team was diligent in gathering litter from Wright Beach, Dunkirk and they also were surprised by the small quantity of debris found there.

Hopefully this is a sign that this type of pollution is slowing down in Lake Erie. There were only a couple of pop top metals found and the huge rubber shipping mats were not evident as in other years. However, thousand and thousands of small pieces and bits of plastic were evident in the sand.

Both groups were satisfied that for one day, one beach in Chautauqua County was in a natural state. Let’s hope to have a Clean Sweep of our beaches every day, every year.

Greystone Nature Preserve is a not-for-profit organization providing experiential environmental education to community members of all ages and ability members. It is open for visitors from dawn to dusk, April through November. Call Diane at 679-6603 for reservations and information.