On Sunday, 7 April 2019, the Sathya Sai Center of Detroit Metro partnered with the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach program for a ‘Beach cleanup’ service activity. The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an organization that serves to protect and restore the Great Lakes for people and wildlife. The Great Lakes coastal zone encompasses some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the region. It provides critical habitats for many species of plants and animals, some of which are found only in the Great Lakes Basin. Unfortunately, more than 22 million pounds of plastic end up in the Great Lakes every year and threaten the natural habitat. Researchers have also found stunningly high amounts of tiny plastic pieces in all five Great Lakes, which provide drinking water for 40 million people.

 

A total of 32 volunteers from the Sathya Sai Center of Detroit Metro joined other volunteers at the Belle Isle Park Conservancy, located in the international waters of Detroit.  Students from Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) Group 3 & 4, their parents and SSE teachers participated in the two-hour service activity and collected approximately 400 lbs. of trash in 40 bags. A majority of the trash collected included plastic, glass bottles, cigarettes and surprisingly, a foam mattress. Volunteers also collected specific data about the litter which will be used by scientists to understand the sources and impact of pollution and to develop solutions to protect our beaches and coasts.

The service activity raised an awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution. The SSE children stated that they were now more mindful of using compostable materials instead of plastic in their daily life and be more committed to reduce, reuse and recycle trash. Children and adults also had a positive experience connecting with nature but became sadly and acutely aware of the destructive impact of pervasive pollution on beaches. They realized just how negligent human beings are and how oblivious they have been to the damage inflicted on Mother Earth. All resolved to adopt more eco-conscious practices in their daily lives and do their part to save Mother Earth.