By Sue Hammond
Trash, tires and plastics were some of the debris that seven members of the Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville and four volunteers collected along the Lake Erie Barcelona Beach area in Barcelona, N.Y. on April 17.
Rotary District 7090, which includes Rotary clubs throughout Western New York and Southern Ontario, Canada, is conducting a major international Rotary service project from now until June 1. This initiative is the Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup.
In support of this Rotary District 7090 project and Earth Day, the Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville spread the word about its cleanup and led the local effort in Barcelona.
“We had a successful cleanup on a cold and dreary day,” Club president Jan Berkhouse said. “From 9 to 11:45 a.m. our group worked from Barcelona Harbor west to Moose Beach and also along the east side. We are grateful to the volunteers who helped us with this service project.”
Westfield-Mayville Rotarians who participated were Helen Baran, Jan Berkhouse, Tom Berkhouse, Pete Bills, Barbara Fay, Mike Harrington and Steve Stratton. Volunteers who assisted during this cleanup were Benjamin Carlson and Christine Carlson of Boy Scout Troop 126 and Liz Dorman and Victoria Templeton of Chautauqua Rails to Trails.
“The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup initiative is an effort that has grown from a District 7090 service project covering a small portion of Lakes Ontario and Erie to a multi-district plan to focus Rotarians’ attention to all five of the Great Lakes and streams and waterways feeding them, Rotary District 7090 Governor Frank Adamson said. “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 eight states and two provinces, and it has 9,577 miles (15,323 kilometers) of shoreline…More than 22 million pounds (10 million kilograms) of trash and plastic pollution ends up in the Great Lakes each year.
“So far 15 Rotary Districts, hundreds 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.”