On June 19-21st 2012, a rainstorm of historic proportions hit northern Minnesota, bringing over 10″ of rain to the Twin Ports and North Shore of Lake Superior. With soil already saturated by previous rain events, the streams and rivers around the region flooded with many streams reaching record high-water marks. The heavy rain and subsequent flooding caused significant damage to property; eroding hillsides, displacing trees, vegetation, even buildings and roads. Many Duluth parks and beaches were heavily damaged by the flood, as were homes and businesses.
True to form, residents in the region jumped into action to assist in the clean-up which will continue for many months. Great Lakes Aquarium, in cooperation with Ocean Conservancy, will host the 16th Beach Sweep early this fall. There has never been a better time to participate in this annual event as we clean up and recover from the flood.
Minnesota Beach Sweep 2012
Do you have a group that would like to participate? You can conduct your own clean up anytime in September and October. We’re happy to supply you with a clean-up kit, data sheets and suggestions for a clean-up site. Local rivers and streams are particularly in need of your help. Is there a body of water in your neighborhood that you’d like to clean up? Let us know about it!
The International Coastal Clean-up is the oldest running cleanup effort of its kind and involves 123 countries across the globe. Focused on removing man-made debris from coastline of all kinds, ICC volunteers also collect data about the debris they gather. This data becomes part of the global database and is used to enhance efforts to protect and restore global waterways (for more information on the ICC please visit www.oceanconservancy.org).
Contact us to learn more about planning your own clean up or participating in one of our official clean up events:
Andrea Crouse, Beach Sweep Coordinator
Andrea is in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Noon-5 p.m.
Thank you to our 2012 sponsors! Your support is vital and valued.
- 2008 data can be downloaded here
- 2009 Minnesota Beach Sweep data can be downloaded here. International results can be found here.
- 2010 data was published in the ICC 2011 report (PDF). Minnesota specific information can be found starting on page 39.
Curriculum related to marine debris:
Cooperative Clean-up kit for grades 3-5 available for lend free of charge from Great Lakes Aquarium. Call 218-740-2007 to find out more.
Center for microbial oceanography: research and information: Lesson plans, powerpoint presentations, activities and kits.
NOAA Marine Debris Program: Fact sheets, posters, activity sheets and links to other resources for all ages.
Video produced by Heal the Bay at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium