Updated on: June 8, 2022

Help keep our beaches clean this summer!

This summer booths at Tunnel Park, Kirk Park, North Beach Park will be outfitted with materials for park visitors to become a Beach Buddy.

When visitors arrive at the park they can request a Beach Buddy Bucket to fill with trash, especially small pieces of plastics, that they find on the beach during their visit. When they return to the booth at the end of their visit they can add the trash they collected in a clear waste receptacle (clear to show just how much trash can be found at the beach!) and receive an official Beach Buddies sticker. The buckets are theirs to keep as well.

Periodically, the trash will be weighed and reported to track success of the efforts. Beach Buddies is being offered in partnership with the Lakeshore Clean Up Coalition, a group of local organizations partnering to support beach and river clean ups in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.bucket decal

Why does the Beach Buddies program exist?

It’s estimated that 22 million pounds of plastic waste makes its way into the Great Lakes every year. That’s enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 100 times! Most of this waste comes from one-use plastics; you know, those plastics that you use once and throw away? Join miECObuzz to explore how you can help keep our beaches clean and free of plastic. The plastic problem is daunting, but your involvement matters!

Funding Information

The US Environmental Protection Agency awarded a Trash Free Waters grant to the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council to support beach and river cleanups in Ottawa and Allegan Counties. Through this funding the Lakeshore Clean Up Coalition was formed. In addition to the Beach Buddies educational program, partners have also held volunteer clean ups at public beach and river access sites. So far, over 1,400 pounds have trashed have been collected in over 800 hours! Find a clean up event near you: the-macc.org/cleanup-events

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