How Franciscan Sisters Adopt a Beach to Help Turn the Tide

Paul Keggington

September 25, 2010

Joining thousands of volunteers throughout the Great Lakes region and world, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity sponsored  ‘An Adopt a Beach’ , an initiative of the Alliance of the Great Lakes, September 25, 2010 on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Manitowoc, WI,  drawing 25 dedicated citizens including students from 4 schools.

Franciscan Sisters Sponsor An Adopt a Beach

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity sponsored 'An Adopt A Beach' on Sept. 25, 2010 as part of the Alliance of the Great Lakes.

While the concept of adoption often stirs thoughts of needs for enduring patience, financial and administrative costs, questions on confidentiality, Sister Water is here and ever ready for our attention and care. And we are ready to share what we learned.

As you may already know International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the world’s largest, one-day volunteer (last year 498, 818) effort to clean up the marine environment. Every September, volunteers from over 100 countries and locations descend on local beaches, rivers, lakes and canals to show their commitment to cleaner waterways.  The Ocean Conservancy, the world’s largest organization focusing exclusively on the health of the marine environment, has sponsored this annual event for the past 25 years.

Here are some statistics comparing 2010 and 2009 just here in Manitowoc:

  • Volunteers –  25 (13)
  • Miles of Beach not under water at United Way Starting point – 2 miles (1.5 miles)
  • Total number of pounds collected – 200 lbs (100 lbs)

Some recorded debris items:

  • cigarettes/cigarette filters – 527 (203)
  • shotgun shells/wadding – 20 (22)
  • fireworks – 30 (7)
  • styrofoam – 147 (82)
  • building materials -12 (6)
  • ear plugs – 10
  • food wrappers/containers – 97 (59)

Our information is added to the Marine Debris Index-a country to country, state by state, item by item accounting of trash-and is used in the following ways:

  • To raise awareness of the quantities and types of marine debris;
  • To determine the various sources of marine debris;
  • To evaluate the impact of marine debris on wildlife and habitat;
  • To assist in the enforcement of regulations against illegal dumping;
  • To influence industries that manufacture products that cause harm to the marine environment.

Talk about spending a Saturday morning doing something that is part of the solution of global pollution.

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