Just because we’re still social distancing doesn’t mean that we can’t be out interacting with nature. Actually, being outdoors and enjoying nature is a great way to social distance. Since the weather is nice and more people are heading down to the water, it unfortunately means that there’s more litter. People = litter.
Per usual, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is asking that people participate in a Shoreline Sweep, except this year is a little bit different due to the restrictions of COVID-19. Typically, The Sweep occurs over the course of one weekend, with lots of people participating. In 2020, there will be a summer-long Summer Sweep, with a series of Sweeps taking place throughout the season.
The first Sweep takes place on July 4, for those who are sick of listening to fireworks and want to help clean up the environment. The Sweeps, presented by Labatt USA, will run through October. Here’s the drill:
- Solo Sweep options for individuals and families include a list of shoreline sites that could use some cleaning up, and a data collection tool on Waterkeeper’s website to log the amount of trash you picked up and where.
- The second option for Solo Sweep allows for individuals and families to pick up supplies (trash bags and nitrile gloves) from Waterkeeper staff a different location in our watershed each week, and to also log their cleanup efforts on the website. The first pickup event is happening this Saturday, July 4! Sign up to grab supplies here.
- The third option will be for individuals and small groups to register and bring their own boat for on-water cleanups led by Waterkeeper staff. The first one is happening July 4 – this Saturday! Register here.
- The fourth pathway for the Summer Sweep is for companies and larger groups to get involved for a fee, with spread out participation over the summer to allow for social distancing, managed by Waterkeeper staff.
For those who want to go beyond the call of duty, there is also a Peer-to-Peer fundraising component.
Additional information of all of the Sweeps, and the ancillary fundraising component can be found at www.bnwaterkeeper.org/summer-sweep.