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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - North Avenue Beach, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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North Avenue Beach, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Registered: February 2007
Posts: 1
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For my Service Learning Project, I worked with the Alliance for the Great Lakes during a Coastal Allies Network North Avenue Beach Cleanup. The Alliance of the Great Lakes works to conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource through policy, education and local efforts aimed at preserving the Great Lakes region as a national treasure. During my service, I assisted the Alliance in protecting the Great Lakes, along with other volunteers, by collecting and recording litter data which identifies sources impacting beach health and helps promote positive changes in the environment.

Volunteers were divided into groups of two or three and worked together to collect and record trash data. By helping remove litter, I learned I was reducing serious health risks for humans and wildlife. Cigarette filters were the most numerous item found at my Adopt-a-Beach visit. Filters are made of a cellulose acetate, which can take up to five years to decompose and children at the beach occasionally put cigarette filters in their mouths. Additionally, animals and other wildlife can be harmed due to the presence of balloons and their ribbons on the beach coast. Balloons and ribbons can entangle animals or be ingested by them. Food, food packaging, and beverage bottles can also entangle animals or be accidentally eaten by them. Left over food may also attract additional wildlife increasing animal waste and harmful bacteria in the water.

While cleaning up the north end of North Avenue Beach I collected over 15 pounds of non-recyclable and recyclable litter including cigarette butts, balloons, wrappers, bottle caps and lids, clothing, paper goods, food packaging, and sand toys with my volunteer group. The cleanup was not only about removing trash from the beach, it was also about collecting useful data to make long-term changes to protect the environment. As a result of data collected during this cleanup, corporations will be able to change their products. Because of past cleanups, certain companies have created more bio-degradable products such as six-pack rings. The cleanup also educates people about the pertinent issues associated with trash in our waterways so they can change their behavior. Further, The Adopt-a-Beach program encourages school participation in the cleanup so students can learn to be environmental caretakers for Lake Michigan.

The most meaningful lesson that I gathered from this experience was that as an individual, I am capable of helping the environment. Being able to see how our group was able to help clean the beach of over 15 pounds of trash, and record litter data that would help make long-term changes to the environment was truly impressive. It was rewarding to be part of a team effort with a group of dedicated volunteers collecting litter on a very hot, muggy, Chicago night.
Date: March 8, 2007 Views: 8988 File size: 43.2kb, 720.9kb : 738 x 831
Hours Volunteered: 5
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 1
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 10
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Registered: August 2008
City/Town/Province: ahmedabad
Posts: 1
August 8, 2008 10:08am

She is doing a great job. Nowadays people don't understand the importance of a clean environment. More and more people are suffering from diseases which are spread because of the polluted atmosphere surrounding them. In that situation, she is performing an extra-ordinary job. I am impressed by her kind job.