Sunset Bay beach cleanup, celebration Friday

Barefoot Wine is teaming up with the Alliance for the Great Lakes to host a public Adopt-a-Beach cleanup at Sunset Bay.

Alliance for the Great Lakes New York Outreach Coordinator and Dunkirk native Nate Drag said this is the first year this event is being held in Chautauqua County.

“We have been in New York for three years now – we are headquartered in Chicago – and we have done cleanup events at Woodlawn Beach in Buffalo and in Rochester in past years. But being a Dunkirk native, I convinced them to do it in Chautauqua County,” Drag explained.

The cleanup will be held Friday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sunset Bay beach.

Drag said he chose Sunset Bay because it is well-known and easy to access.

“It is a popular beach and an easy name to recognize. It is also easy to get to, because we are trying to pull people in from across the county,” he said.

Drag said volunteers will be asked to pickup trash along the beach but also to catalog what they pickup so that the information can be entered into the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ database. Drag said this is so it can track what trash is littered where. He said they will also do a beach health assessment by taking samples and measuring the algae and wildlife in the area.

All volunteers will receive a free T-shirt for helping with the cleanup.

Following the cleanup, volunteers’ ages 21 and older are invited to attend a celebration featuring Barefoot Wine and surf-inspired fare from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The celebration will be held at Cabana Sam’s Sunset Bay Grill, 1028 South Shore Drive, Irving.

The event is part of a partnership between Barefoot Wine and the Alliance’s Adopt-a-Beach Program to help clean up the Great Lakes’ beaches and shorelines and offer a special celebration to recognize volunteers’ efforts. There is no charge for the event and all are welcome to participate in the cleanup. The celebration is also free of charge but is only open to those 21 and older.

In 2012, more than 12,000 Adopt-a-Beach volunteers removed 42,351 pounds of trash at 327 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. This cleanup is part of a series of events this summer with Barefoot Wine and the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

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