Trash-Free Waters with the Lakeshore Cleanup Coalition

Keeping our beaches and waters clean is a continual process and a group effort. Through September of 2022, we will be working with Macatawa Area Coordinating Council to organize volunteer events for beach and river cleanups across Allegan and Ottawa counties! So grab a buddy, and let’s head to the water! Keep an eye on our events calendar for upcoming volunteer events.

Three volunteers pose for a photo on the beach each holding a bag of collected litter.

Background

Allegan Conservation District (ACD) partners with many different private, state, and federal organizations to tackle common conservation goals. One of these partners is the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council (MACC). The US Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded a grant to the MACC to support beach and river cleanups in Ottawa and Allegan Counties. This project formed the Lakeshore Cleanup Coalition which includes the following partners: Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, Ottawa County Parks and Recreation, the Ottawa Conservation District, Hope College, the ODC Network, the Allegan Conservation District and the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council. Partners will hold volunteer beach and river cleanups throughout Ottawa and Allegan County over the next couple years. Each partner will organize and run their own events and the MACC will post the full list with registration links. As events are completed, MACC will also report the results on their website.

Why is it important to keep trash out of our waters?

Litter has various environmental impacts including:

  • Habitat: litter modifies the physical habitat, reduces light levels, and can cause oxygen depletion
  • Chemical: different litter materials contain different toxins that can accumulate and transport persistent bioaccumulate in the environment
  • Biological: animals may ingest and/or become entangled in litter
  • Human: debris interferes with navigation, impedes commercial and recreational fishing, threatens health and safety, and reduces tourism

How to get involved and keep our lakes and rivers clean

  • Volunteer with the Allegan Conservation District by signing up for one of our cleanup events

April 13th, 2021 – 10am to Noon
Location: Oval Beach,  690 Perryman St, Saugatuck
Registration link

April 27th, 2021 – 4pm to 6pm
Location: Douglas Beach Park, 3099 Lakeshore Dr, Douglas
Registration link

May 11th, 2021 – 10am to Noon
Location: West Side County Park, 2152 Lakeshore Dr, Fennville
Registration link

May 25th, 2021 – 4pm to 6pm
Location: Casco Township Nature Preserve*, 716-762 Blue Star Memorial Hwy, South Haven
Registration link
* location may change to Glenn Beach if the Preserve is inaccessible

  • Volunteer with Lakeshore Cleanup Coalition partners at: http://www.the-macc.org/cleanup-events/
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles when recreating and encourage your friends to do so too!
  • Learn more about Trash-Free Waters on the US EPA website
  • Share with your family, friends and neighbors
  • Follow the partners on social media for litter reduction tips
  • Organize your own neighborhood cleanups