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Plastic Free Buffalo – Petition for Cleanup @ Erie Basin Marina | Sponsor a Beach Sweep

Local photographer, artist, and environmental activist Alexis Oltmer has started a petition, asking that The City of Buffalo do something about the litter problem at Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. She is hoping that by taking action with this little but loved beach, she can raise awareness for all WNY beaches that are under constant threat from plastics and other non-biodegradable debris.

In the petition, Alexis outlines a number of steps that can be taken to reduce litter at the waterfront site, including adding anti-litter signage, putting out more recycle bins, figuring out ways to prevent the trash bins from blowing over, increasing trash pick-ups so that bins don’t overflow, and installing a drop box for hypodermic needles which have been found at the beach in the past. 

Over the past two years, Alexis has dedicated countless hours to cleaning WNY beaches. After a cleanup, she takes the plastics, and other debris, and makes artwork, to demonstrate the problem in an a-typical fashion. “I have begun collecting plastic recyclables to photograph and bring to waste management as a way of learning what actually can and does get recycled in the City of Buffalo,” she says. 

Moving forward, Alexis will be hosting a series of beach cleanups that she says will second as informational sessions. “The goal is to host a workshop where I speak to the community about the current project I am highlighting, and to create public policy change in regards to our local government. I recently founded Plastic Free Buffalo, a community based movement geared towards raising awareness of plastic pollution washing ashore Lake Erie on Emerald Beach. This stems from my University at Buffalo project For Future Generations, where I visited and documented the beach for the past two years, and now I want to branch out to our community via Plastic Free Buffalo.”

For Future Generations is ongoing art project, and will open as a solo exhibition, January 2020 at CEPA Gallery.

At this time the young environmentalist is hoping to get local organizations and groups onboard, to sponsor the beach cleanups. The first cleanup was held on Earth Day. “Second Chic Buffalo was the proud sponsor of our Earth Day community beach clean up,” Alexis remarks. 

Alexis is also hoping that people sign her petition at “After two years of research and documentation, we’ve started a petition with the City of Buffalo and Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets. Please sign and share this petition to let the City of Buffalo know that the community cares about the local environmental impact of #plasticpollution.”

These days, the City of Buffalo is putting a lot of emphasis on the rebirth of our waterfront. At the same time, there are preventative measures that need to be addressed when it comes to keeping our beaches, and our waters, clean. The world is facing a plastic crisis at the moment, and we must all do our share of helping to resolve the situation. Whether that means vowing to change your plastic purchasing habits, or signing up your business to sponsor a beach cleanup, there’s plenty that we can all be doing to safeguard our planet for future generations.

As of now the following dates are open for sponsored beach sweep events: 9-11am

  • May 12th
  • May 25th
  • June 8th
  • June 9th
  • June 15th
  • June 16th
  • June 22nd
  • June 23rd
  • June 29th
  • June 30th
  • July 13th
  • July 14th
  • July 20th
  • July 21st
  • July 27th
  • July 28th
  • August 3rd
  • August 4th
  • August 10th
  • August 11th
  • August 17th
  • August  18th
  • August 24th
  • August 25th
  • August 31st

If you are interested in sponsoring a cleanup, it would be helpful if you could pick two or three dates, just in case someone else has already secured a desired date. Each cleanup begins with a short talk (by Alexis) on the whos, whats, and whys behind Plastic Free Buffalo. Alexis also invites sponsor team members to share their own thoughts about why the cleanups are important to them. Stores, organizations, etc., can provide cleanup volunteers with incentives such as coffee, store discounts, or any other sort of encouragements to get people motivated to clean the beaches. In the end, it’s all about being enthusiastic about this project, and helping Alexis to tackle this incredible eco feat. 

If you would like to learn more about sponsoring a date, you can contact Alexis on her website. Or you can contact her directly at to set up a clean up date.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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