Western New York summers are all about waterways.
Starting next weekend, you can volunteer to help clean them up- and get a free lunch in the bargain.
Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper and Labatt USA have teamed up to host monthly cleanup efforts in highly polluted areas like Scajaquada Creek and Seneca Bluffs.
Although Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper recently hosted its annual Spring Shoreline Sweep event, which attracted over 2,000 volunteers, WNY’s waterways still need cleaning up throughout the year, Chris Murawski, director of community engagement for the organization said.
:”It gives us a way to connect with volunteers throughout the year, and also we can hit the sites with the most need, and welcome community feedback as to where we need to clean up,” Murawski said.
Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper has been hosting cleanups of WNY’s waterways since the 1980s.
“We find a lot of plastic pollution,” Murawski said. “It’s a global problem, but also a local problem.”
Plastics are an issue since they can break down into tiny microplastics, which can be hazardous to human and wildlife health, Murawski said.
The cleanups will be held the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The first event is June 22.
Following each event will be a volunteer appreciation party at The Draft House downtown, Lauren Christopher, PR manager for Labatt Blue said.
This is the second year BN Waterkeeper and Labatt have teamed up to host the cleanup events.
New for this year, volunteers who participate in multiple events can earn Labatt Blue rewards, including baseball caps, pullovers, and backpacks.
“Our cleanups can draw up to 200 people per monthly cleanup, so we’re calling for hundreds of volunteers,” Christopher said. “There’s so much work to be done, and for just a few hours of work, you can make a really big impact.”