Thursday, September 16, 2010

Updated: Help clean up Michigan beaches Sept. 18-Oct. 2

Seven-Mile Point, a Lake Superior beach purchased for public access by the North Woods Conservancy. To celebrate the Keweenaw portion of the Michigan Coastal Cleanup, a Social / Coastal Clean Up BBQ will be held here from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26. Sandy Britton is the Beach Captain for the Seven-Mile Point Cleanup.* (Keweenaw Now file photo)

CALUMET -- This year the Michigan Coastal Cleanup, part of an international effort to pick up trash on beaches around the world, need not conflict with the Sept. 18 Parade of Nations in Houghton-Hancock. While the official Cleanup date this year is from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 25, Beach Captains can choose for their particular beach site any date and time within a week before or a week after Sept. 25, i.e., Sept. 18-Oct. 2, 2010.**

The North Woods Conservancy (NWC) is the coordinator for Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, and parts of Baraga and Ontonagon Counties. Contact Jane or John Griffith at 906-337-0782, or visit the Coastal Clean Up page on the NWC Web site.

You may volunteer to clean up ANY BEACH or waterway around the Keweenaw Peninsula including Lake Superior beaches and any inland lake or stream.

Visit the NWC website for a list and aerial photo of "claimed" and as-yet unclaimed beaches (or choose your own). If there is no Beach Captain listed for a site, NWC needs you! Join a group at an already-adopted beach, or become the Beach Captain for a beach that is special to you.

Beach at Bete Grise Preserve. The Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District invites volunteers to help them clean up the Bete Grise beach at the Preserve (about 5 miles from Lac La Belle, just off the Gay-Lac La Belle Road) and the public beach at Bete Grise North. Meet at the Bete Grise Preserve parking lot or at the Bete Grise North public beach at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26. Sue Haralson is the Beach Captain. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The idea is simple: pick up trash at local beaches and record the amounts and types of each trash item so garbage sources can be identified and hopefully terminated -- this is how the bottle bill was passed. It’s a good reason to stretch your legs, enjoy the beautiful fall weather and see some gorgeous coastal scenery.

You can sign up by contacting the NWC or by stopping at the Ahmeek Streetcar Station (4 miles north of Calumet on US 41) between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays and between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. weekends). A master map, bags, gloves, aerial site maps, and data forms are available at the Streetcar Station.

No beach is too large or too small. You can choose one of the listed beaches, or do your own beach. Perhaps you and your neighbors would like to claim and clean a portion of private beach (maybe a whole subdivision or neighborhood)? Just let NWC know so they can add you to the list.

A Social / Coastal Clean Up BBQ (byo everything) will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at on Sunday, Sept. 26, at Seven Mile Point.

"Stop by and share your trash talk," says John Griffith. "Working together, we can clean every inch of beach in the Keweenaw!"

Conglomerate Falls update:

NWC MUST RAISE THE $30,000 DOWN PAYMENT BY OCT. 1, 2010, for the purchase of Conglomerate Falls, a spectacular fishing and birding spot located on forty acres of big trees and a quarter mile of the Gratiot River. The North Woods Conservancy purchased the property, which includes a cabin for visitors, in August 2009 for public access ownership.

Please consider donating what you can to help raise this down payment by Oct. 1. You may win one of the following prizes:
  • $100 donors are entered into a drawing for one week at the cabin (10 prizes)
  • $500 donors get one week at the cabin (includes deer hunting rights)
  • $1,000 donors get a week at the cabin and their name on a plaque at the cabin
"We just passed the $17K mark!" report the Griffiths on Sept. 16. "Thanks to all who have contributed and thanks for your help spreading the word."

Update: Beach Cleanup in Big Bay Sept. 25

MARQUETTE -- The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve (YDWP) will host a beach cleanup in Big Bay at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at the public beach in Big Bay. YDWP participates in the International Beach Cleanup every September.

To get to the beach from Marquette, drive up County Road 550 until you reach Big Bay. Continue through Big Bay, past the churches and around the curve. Take a right toward Bay Cliff Health Camp. Continue down the hill and veer left. Go straight until you see beautiful Lake Superior. You are there!

For more information visit the YDWP Web site or call 906-345-9223.

Editor's Notes:
See our Jan. 27, 2010, article,
"North Woods Conservancy purchases Conglomerate Falls property," with photos by Eric Munch. Click here for directions to Conglomerate Falls.

*See Sandy Britton's July 18 "Seven Mile Smiles."
Update: ** Saturday, Sept. 25, is also National Public Lands Day. If you're not near a beach, why not help clean up a city park? Click here for information.

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