Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Cleanup

Nov. 2016

Earlier this fall, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary joined students from Alcona Elementary School for the 2016 International Coastal Cleanup. Check out our video to learn how the sanctuary is working with the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative to teach students the importance of keeping the Great Lakes clean!


So we're out here with a group of third-graders down at Harrisville Boat Harbor and we're down here actually doing a beach cleanup. We are gonna look for stuff and we're gonna throw them away.

What sort of stuff?


Why are we looking for trash on the beach today?

So we can keep it clean.

Is it important to keep our lakes and rivers clean?


What are we doing today?

Uh...picking up trash.

Why are we picking up trash?

Because, um, because we want to make it cleaner.

They're picking up all this litter and they're kind of quantifying it and seeing how much we actually did pick up.

We are finding lots of foam and a couple plastic. See? The foam we send to number two, about to go to number three. There's so much styrofoam here! Okay how much?

Today is part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach. We help protect our Great Lakes by picking up litter and also tallying data for what was the most common litter item found. Students also learned about other ways that we can impact our Great Lakes.

What do you see?

0 Teeny blue dots.

And what are they?

Microplastics. Woah!

And how as humans it's really, we need to help protect this wonderful resource because all over the world we're really just one big ocean, one big blue planet, and there's so much we can do now to protect and conserve this wonderful resource.

I learned that there are microscopic plankton in the sea.