Vol­un­teers clean up beach in Michi­gan

The Columbus Dispatch - - Metro&state -

TRA­VERSE CITY, Mich. — Thou­sands of vol­un­teers fanned out along Great Lakes beaches on Satur­day for an an­nual trash pickup.

An en­vi­ron­men­tal group called the Al­liance for the Great Lakes spon­sors the Adopt-a-Beach pro­gram ev­ery Septem­ber, as sum­mer tourist sea­son winds down.

Teams tar­get beaches and shore­lines along all five of the lakes.

It’s part of a larger ini­tia­tive called the In­ter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup, which draws mil­lions of par­tic­i­pants world­wide.

Last year more than 6,900 peo­ple col­lected 16,079 pounds of lit­ter at about 250 sites around the Great Lakes.

Much of the trash is typ­i­cally plas­tics, such as shop­ping bags, drink­ing straws and bot­tles. Sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered that mil­lions of tiny plas­tic bits are adrift in the lakes.

The cleanups pro­duce data on pol­lu­tion sources that are shared with re­searchers and beach man­agers.

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