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Volunteers needed for Mercyhurst’s 2014 Adopt-A-Beach team at Presque Isle

Thursday, March 20, 2014

3,788 cigarette filters. Check.

632 plastic cigar tips. Check.

1,748 food-related items. Check.

Add 165 wildlife entanglers, 28 plastic bags, 42 hygiene/medical items, and 422 miscellaneous items and you arrive at a total of 6,825 pieces of trash that Mercyhurst University volunteers collected at Presque Isle State Park during last year’s Adopt-a-Beach™ program.  In fact, Mercyhurst was responsible for gathering more than a third of the 18,000 total pieces of trash collected.

But, it didn’t stop there. During their beach outings, the Mercyhurst team assessed a diverse array of environmental parameters, collecting data for use by resource planners at the state and regional levels.

This year’s team, headed by David Hyland, Ph.D., and Renee Wright, will once again be working at Presque Isle’s Sunset and Budny beaches and they want YOU to join them. Their first foray into the field is Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. Transportation will be provided, departing from the parking lot of Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at 8:30 a.m.

The other scheduled outings are:

Saturday, May 3, 9 a.m. – Noon

Saturday, June 7, 9 a.m. – Noon

Saturday, July 5, 9 a.m. – Noon

Saturday, Aug. 2, 9 a.m. – Noon

Saturday, Sept. 6, 9 a.m. – Noon

Saturday, Oct. 4, 9 a.m. – Noon

Hyland said that the plan of action this year is to collect water samples, plating them for bacterial counts – both E. coli and fecal coliform – separating recyclables and cigarette butts, taking water temperature, determining long-shore current and assessing a wide variety of cultural and environmental data.

And, as before, collecting trash to beautify the beaches is also part of the effort.

For questions or to volunteer, please contact Hyland at; or Wright at

Adopt-a-Beach™ is an Alliance For The Great Lakes volunteer program, with some 10,000 participants ranging from individuals and families to schools and businesses.