Calling All Boaters: Help Keep Trash Off Waterways

Steve Miller
July 03, 2018 - 3:43 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The American Sailing Association has launched a cleanup campaign, to pluck plastic out of the nation's waterways, starting this week of the July Fourth holiday.

We wanted to get some perspective on how bad the plastic problem is in Lake Michigan.

Jaclyn Wegner, the director of conservation action at the Shedd Aquarium, had this to say:

“So, as we're looking over the edge here into the lake, we see a lot of different debris - some of it is natural.  A lot of it's not."

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

Wegner said last year, the Shedd hosted beach cleanups that picked up 5,000 pounds of trash -- most of it plastic.

"Some of the materials we use, like the plastic water bottles we're seeing here in the lake, they can be recycled. But sometimes, they get blown out of the garbage can and can easily end up in the water. 

"So, 80 percent of the litter in the lake is originally land-based."

Jaclyn Wegner, the director of conservation action at the Shedd Aquarium. (WBBM Newsradio)

The American Sailing Association is asking every boater this summer to pick up trash on the water, whenever they see it.