How Franciscan Sisters Adopt a Beach to Help Turn the Tide

by Sister Julie Ann on September 25, 2010

Joining thousands of volunteers throughout the Great Lakes region and world, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity sponsored  ‘An Adopt a Beach’ , an initiative of the Alliance of the Great Lakes, September 25, 2010 on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Manitowoc, WI,  drawing 25 dedicated citizens including students from 4 schools.

Franciscan Sisters Sponsor An Adopt a Beach

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity sponsored 'An Adopt A Beach' on Sept. 25, 2010 as part of the Alliance of the Great Lakes.

While the concept of adoption often stirs thoughts of needs for enduring patience, financial and administrative costs, questions on confidentiality, Sister Water is here and ever ready for our attention and care. And we are ready to share what we learned.

As you may already know International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the world’s largest, one-day volunteer (last year 498, 818) effort to clean up the marine environment. Every September, volunteers from over 100 countries and locations descend on local beaches, rivers, lakes and canals to show their commitment to cleaner waterways.  The Ocean Conservancy, the world’s largest organization focusing exclusively on the health of the marine environment, has sponsored this annual event for the past 25 years.

Here are some statistics comparing 2010 and 2009 just here in Manitowoc:

  • Volunteers –  25 (13)
  • Miles of Beach not under water at United Way Starting point – 2 miles (1.5 miles)
  • Total number of pounds collected – 200 lbs (100 lbs)

Some recorded debris items:

  • cigarettes/cigarette filters – 527 (203)
  • shotgun shells/wadding – 20 (22)
  • fireworks – 30 (7)
  • styrofoam – 147 (82)
  • building materials -12 (6)
  • ear plugs – 10
  • food wrappers/containers – 97 (59)

Our information is added to the Marine Debris Index-a country to country, state by state, item by item accounting of trash-and is used in the following ways:

  • To raise awareness of the quantities and types of marine debris;
  • To determine the various sources of marine debris;
  • To evaluate the impact of marine debris on wildlife and habitat;
  • To assist in the enforcement of regulations against illegal dumping;
  • To influence industries that manufacture products that cause harm to the marine environment.

Talk about spending a Saturday morning doing something that is part of the solution of global pollution.

12 thoughts on “How Franciscan Sisters Adopt a Beach to Help Turn the Tide”

  1. St. Francis wrote in the Canticle of Creation, “Praise be You, My Lord for Sister Water…” Joining over 400,000 people around the world concerned about taking care of our natural resources is a wonderful direction that brings hope into our world!

    Special thanks to all who participated in the Lake MI Adopt-A-Beach day!

  2. St. Francis wrote in the Canticle of Creation, “Praise be You, My Lord for Sister Water…” Joining over 400,000 people around the world concerned about taking care of our natural resources is a wonderful direction that brings hope into our world!

    Special thanks to all who participated in the Lake MI Adopt-A-Beach day!

  3. Alliance for the Great Lakes says:

    Thanks for being part of the solution!

  4. Leslie (postulant) says:

    That was a very fun morning. It was a wonderful way to keep our environment clean and our beaches enjoyable. Don't forget Sister Mary Ann Brother Wind was looking for some praise too.

  5. Pearson82 says:

    Yes, it was a great time to give back AND have fellowship! Looking forward to next year!

  6. Thanks for leading the charge and seeing that we received needed materials.

  7. Sr. Delores W. says:

    All of creation thanks you for the clean up. I love walking along the lake. It speaks of God's love and care for us. I counted 12+ monarch butterflies on Saturday afternoon and again Sunday.

  8. Sister Monica (novice) says:

    This was a lot of fun and it was nice to be apart of something big.

  9. sisterannemarielom says:

    How fitting that we are so close to the Feast of St. Francis and some of his followers are truly in his “footprints” caring for creation. His love for fraternity (community) comes through in the comments as well as the love for creation. Praise be to you, my Lord, for all the love and service that made this day possible.

  10. Sister Isabelle, Novice says:

    I'm really glad I got to be a part of this! It felt good to be able to give back and do something for the community that I have grown up and been a part of for most of my life! I have been to these beaches quite alot and it is nice to see that people are willling to take care of them.

  11. Swrrtsue64 says:

    What a wonderful way to meet new friends and at the same time restore God's beauty along the lake front. People viewing this may think twice about leaving their trash behind.

  12. I like that line about thinking twice before leaving trash behind!

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