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      Call for volunteers to help with beach cleanup

      You can help keep northern Michigan beaches clean by taking part in several upcoming events.

      The Inland Seas Education Association will be holding its second cleanup event of the year on Sept. 15. The effort will continue for two weeks. The fall Beach Cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup , in cooperation with the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

      Beaches and waterways included are from Petoskey to Manistee. ISEA also encourages volunteers to pick their favorite beach spot, or along inland lakes, rivers and streams and help pick up litter and trash in those areas also.

      Volunteer Beach Cleaners can pick up trash along the Great Lakes shoreline anytime of the year, and are encouraged to do so. The large worldwide Beach Cleanup sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy will take place on Saturday, September 17th along the coastal areas of major continents throughout the world. To participate this fall, please call the ISEA office at 231-271-3077. Let the office know which beach area you wish to clean and if that beach is already taken, they will help you select another nearby beach. You will also be given a Beach Data Card, or you may download one at .

      The data collected from the cleanup efforts is compiled and analyzed by the Ocean Conservancy, and locally by the Alliance for the Great Lakes . Volunteers will collect and tally all the trash they find along the beaches - plastic bags, balloons, cigarette butts - and other debris - you name it!

      On the day of the Clean Up, you will need sturdy footwear, gloves, garbage bags or a plastic pail (this works better than garbage bags), a clipboard and pencil for the Data Card, and a friend or two to help.

      There will also be a beach cleanup event Sept. 29 at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park. Meet at the Visitor Center in Empire at 10am to take part.

      For details, please contact Park Ranger Matt at the National Lakeshore at 231-334-0215 or visit the park's website .