April 28th, 2019
On Saturday April 28th, 2019, United By Blue, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Shedd Aquarium and Makers Mark joined forces for a cleanup of Foster Beach. Located on the scenic shoreline of Lake Michigan, we beat some chilly Spring weather for our first cleanup in the Windy City.
With the help of 129 volunteers, the crew was able to remove 309 lbs. of mainly microplastic from the Lake shoreline. Cigarette butts were the most found item, but other light plastics were scattered throughout the beach and nearby bike path. Smaller plastic pieces made for a smaller haul of weight, but thankfully we caught them before heading into the lake. Leading the way in the ban against microplastic, Illinois was the first state to identify the issue with microbeads, which lead to a nationwide ban in personal care products
The snow, yes you read that correctly, snow held out for the majority of the cleanup, but made an appearance towards the end. Thankfully, Makers Mark hosted a happy hour at Lady Gregory's Irish Pub where volunteers could warm up and connect over chats on clean water and sustainability. This was Makers Mark first cleanup of their #cocktailsforcleanups effort, which will continue throughout the season. Check out where you can get more involved here.