september 25 was international coastal clean up day. rei joined with the sierra club to host the event at montrose beach. keep in mind that many different organizations around the world took this task on. each picked a spot and ours was mantorose beach. The over all organizer is the ocean conservancy who put together the video that can be seen above.
"this beach clean-up is important because everything that is picked up will be documented and weighed. The data is sent to the Ocean Conservancy for its special Great Lakes section in their annual report on the condition of the world's beaches. The data we collect will also significantly determine the facts and totals of trash collected for Chicago's data point in the report!
The event will focus on cleaning up Montrose Beach from 9:00 am to noon. There will also be opportunities to participate in the only dunes habitat restoration in Chicago and tours of the very special dunes area throughout the morning, a designated Illinois Natural Area which hosts rare plants and many migrant and nesting birds. A nature walk will show you how special this rare habitat really is. In addition to seeing migrant and nesting birds, really cool dune plants and maybe a coyote, we may get a glimpse of the beaver that is living inside the pier!"
when i woke up that morning i was freezing! the critical mass ride had been the night before and i was still chilled to the bone. it was a windy morning as k and i rode our bike on the lake shore path to the mantrose and the beach clean up.
by the time we arrived it was ten am. we got our garbage and recycling bags and our gloves and off we went. it be honest at first it was hard to find things to pick up at all. the majority of what we found were beer bottle tops and wrappers from kids snacked. i was pretty impressed with how clean the beach and surrounding areas were. we also took a walk in the bird and butterfly sanctuary. the walk was joyous and peaceful and i had never know the sanctuary excited there.
although i didn't get as much time as i would have liked to clean i really enjoyed it. i also noticed that there were a lot of what looked like school groups cleaning. also parents with their children. this was my first year participating in this event or ever knowing that it existed. i hope i have the opportunity to again next year. i believe it is a fabulous event to raise awareness. however it should not take a special day for any of us to pick up garbage that we see and to think about the impact of our actions. please think about that my friends.