Clement Community Helps Clear Over 30 lbs of Garbage from Oak Street Beach

482 cigarette butts. 153 foam pieces. 98 pieces of glass. And 188 pieces of plastic! These were just a few of the items our Saint Clement community (headed up by our Creation Care Ministry) along with local Chicago volunteers cleared from Oak Street Beach on Saturday, September 21st while participating in the International Coastal Cleanup 2019. 
Each year International Coastal Cleanup events take place all around the world on a chosen date in September. This year over 100 countries participated. While the 30+ lbs of garbage we cleared was significant, what may have made the most difference was our removal of microplastics and smaller items. A recent article in the Chicago Tribune noted some of the problems caused by these smaller particles: "Microplastics have been observed in the guts of many Lake Michigan fish, in drinking water and even in beer. Perhaps the most worrisome aspect is that the impact of microplastics on human health remains unclear. Plastics are known to attract industrial contaminants already in the water, like PCBs, while expelling their own chemical additives intended to make them durable, including flame retardants. Because the problem is virtually invisible, sometimes it's hard to attract attention to it."

We'd like to send a big thanks to the new restaurant at North Beach, Whispers at Oak Street Beach and its managers for hosting our event under their tarp. Having the tables set up made our event all the easier especially given some light rain. And many thanks to our Saint Clement community. We look forward to doing this again together next September! 

Click here to see more pictures from this event.

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