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GLIN==> Hundreds Anticipated to Adopt-a-Beach

Contact: Stephanie Smith, Education Coordinator, Lake Michigan Federation
312-939-0838 x 5 or ssmith@lakemichigan.org
Hundreds Anticpated to Adopt-a-Beach
The Lake Michigan Federation is launching its Adopt-a-Beach program on
Saturday, April 19, 2003, with hundreds of volunteers ready to take the
first step in helping to restore the 1,659 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.
You can join us!  Groups of volunteers will head out to clean up the Lake
Michigan shoreline prior to the massive summer rush of beachgoers.
Adopt-a-Beach volunteers are composed of individuals, schools, companies,
and community groups. Volunteer activities include:
*	      Collecting and recording debris
*	Conducting water quality monitoring
*	Shoreline re-vegetation for habitat

Participation is available year round, with special emphasis during the
summer, the region's most active season for beach use. Beach adopters make
their own visit schedule and commit to 5 visits per year.  The data
collected is entered into an online database, so that participants can
analyze the information to create positive change for their beach.  The
goals of this effort include both enhancing the community's overall
enjoyment of Lake Michigan and educating the public about the importance of
preserving the lake for future generations.  The Federation is seeking
financial sponsorship of the Adopt-a-Beach program.  This may appeal to
organizations or individuals with a limited ability to volunteer.
"Creating a group of caring and invested volunteers is essential to the
health of Lake Michigan," said Lance Avery, Lake Front Task Force co-chair
of Adopt-a-Beach "Our beaches can never have too many friends."
The Federation piloted the Adopt-a-Beach Program last year and found that 52
percent of all debris left behind at surveyed beach sites was food-related.
This type of trash can attract animals that leave waste in sand and water.
Bacteria, which are often present in animal and human waste, can result in
swimming bans when detected at certain levels in the lake.
The Lake Michigan Federation's findings emphasize the need for conscientious
beach and water use along Lake Michigan's shoreline.  The Federation
encourages the public to use beaches responsibly, making sure that trash is
securely recycled or disposed of properly.  
The Lake Michigan Federation welcomes and encourages volunteers to
participate in the ongoing Adopt-a-Beach program on April 19 and beyond. To
learn more about the Federation and its Adopt-a-Beach program, see
<http://www.lakemichigan.org/adopt> or contact Stephanie Smith at
ssmith@lakemichigan.org or 312-939-0838 ext. 5.

# # # #

Formed in 1970, the Lake Michigan Federation is the oldest citizens' Great
Lakes organization in North America. Its mission is to restore fish and
wildlife habitat, conserve land and water, and eliminate pollution in the
watershed of the largest lake within the United States. We achieve this
through education, research, law, science, economics, and strategic
partnerships. Additional information on the Federation is available at
www.lakemichigan.org <http://www.lakemichigan.org>. 

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