Group of sweepersThe Great Lakes depend on great people, and our beach sweep volunteers from H2O + proved this point at 12th St. Beach last Tuesday with another huge performance. With 75 volunteers, not only was this a big turnout, but our volunteers showed immense passion and commitment on an individual level, too.

Cleaning up on beachHow big? Our top-ranking group picked up more than 19 lbs. of trash and recycling combined. Together, we collected a little more than 100 lbs. in less than an hour! Suspended in disbelief about this amount of garbage on such a small beach, our volunteers applauded themselves and shared stories about the strangest items found before heading back to Shedd for pizza.

This sweep’s official “weirdest find”? It was a toss-up between a grill grate and a glittering arc of a giant hula-hoop.

See on August 21 for our monthly public sweep at 12th St!

—Reid Bogert, Great Lakes and sustainability