Posted by Frank Adamson
Please be advised that this major International Rotary Service Project has been extended from April 24 to June 1 for completion on both sides of the Border.  
 
UPDATE: April 01, 2021
Please be advised that this major International Rotary Service Project has been extended from April 24 to June 1 for completion on both sides of the Border.  
 
The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup initiative is an effort that has grown from a District 7090 service project covering a small portion of Lake Ontario and Erie to a multi-district plan to focus Rotarians’ attention to all 5 of the Great Lakes and streams and waterways feeding them.  Our goal is to make this the single largest cleanup event ever planned and coinciding with Earth Day 2021 on the Great Lakes Watershed.  The Great Lakes contains almost 20% of the world’s fresh water and is arguably the largest source of fresh water on the planet.  It borders 8 states and 2 provinces and has 9,577 miles (15,323 kilometers) of shoreline.  So far 15 Districts, 100’s of Clubs, and thousands of Rotary volunteers have agreed to participate.  We will be joining over one billion people worldwide working on projects together in their communities on Earth Day.
 
Trash, plastics, and other littered items plague our waterways.  This trash poses a threat to terrestrial and aquatic life, often becomes microplastics and harmful toxins, and pollutes one of the most precious and limited natural resources.  Shopping carts, tires, furniture, trash, foam cups, plastic containers, and aluminum cans contaminate our waterways and greenways.  More than 22 million pounds (10 million kilograms) of trash and plastic pollution ends up in the Great Lakes each year.
 
Cleanups from numerous NGO’s, community groups, and individual volunteers are critical to reducing the amount of garbage that collects in our watersheds each year.  In order to track our success, the second goal will be to tabulate the amount of debris collected from each of the individual cleanup events.  And the final and most important goal will be to educate the public to the importance of protecting our waterways and to instill a sense of stewardship towards our Great Lakes.
 
The deadline for completion of Great Lakes Watershed events is being extended from Saturday April 24th to Tuesday June 1st.  
 
This collaborative work project has generated much excitement and enthusiasm among the planners and is reflective of the upcoming addition of The Environment as a new area of focus of Rotary International.  It also reflects our desire to be People of Action and to promote the good work of Rotary.
 
Rotary/Rotaract Objectives:
  1. Improve the aesthetics of the Great Lakes by removing garbage from public areas and roadsides.
  2. Reduce the amount of plastic and litter on our lands and in our waterways.
  3. Remove waste that could potentially be ingested by pets and other wildlife.
  4. Provide an opportunity for public participation in collaborative activities.
  5. Educate the public about the effects of littering, the importance of recycling, and to instill a sense of stewardship.
  6. Collect and report back to organizers cleanup metrics to track the impacts of all the cleanups.
Opportunity:
  • Engage as many Districts, Clubs, Rotarians, Rotaractors, and other volunteers around the Great Lakes Watershed
  • Each Club should find out what is happening in their community regarding clean-ups.  Engage with local Conservation Authorities, Watershed Groups or local NGO’s to see what is already planned in your area and to coordinate or partner with them
  • If there is not an event, plan to organize your own
  • Support will be available to each Club to help to organize the event
  • Correspond with the District contact to provide cleanup event date(s), location, and lead contact person for each event.
Contacts:
Frank Adamson
Governor, District 7090
Rotary Club of Fonthill, Ontario
 
Lisa Bishop
Governor Nominee, District 7090
Rotary Club of Delhi
 
For additional information please contact:  Lisa Bishop
 
For additional information on filling out and sending back the event cleanup metric data collection sheet please contact: event coordinator Kaylee Peterson at pete1174@msu.edu