Grants in Action: Lake Huron Coastal Centre
The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation hosted two shoreline clean ups to remove hazards from the shoreline, raise awareness about microplastic pollution in Lake Huron, and build a strong coastal community. The shoreline clean ups were held at sunset in Sauble Beach on August 4 and Port Elgin on August 18.
Jennifer Isber-Legge, Grants & Donor Relations Coordinator of Community Foundation Grey Bruce, participated in the Port Elgin clean up as one of the thirty six local participants that volunteered to pick up garbage and catelogue the types of waste collected on data sheets. Voluteers were equiped with reusable gloves, buckets, and garbage bags and asked to form small teams to search the beach for any waste, ranging from micoplastics to larger items such as clothing. Elements such as water and wind collect larger pieces of garbage along the shoreline, but collecting microplastics that can go back into the lake is equally as important to ensure a healthy ecosystems. Jen shared that the experienced opened her eyes to the number of microplastics that were found on the beach, even in areas that had been already been cleared of larger pieces of garabage. Jen shared that she learned the importance doing a conserted clean up with the purpose of looking for garbage and was surprised to learn how much garabage was collected from beaches that appeared clean once you took a deeper look. Particpants acknlowledged the responsibility and importance of keeping our local beaches clean. In addition to benefiting residents and tourists, a clearn shoreline benefits the coastal wildlife (fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, other species-at-risk) and beach dune ecosystems of Bruce County.
The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation received a 2022 Spring Community Grant to support the clean up events.