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Great Lakes Erie Boat Float sets sail at Cleveland Metroparks Edgewater Park

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Take the wretched refuse of your teeming shore and make a post-consumer boat out of it

The Great Lakes Erie Boat Float is a unique event. Part of it is a design competition and the other part is the boat race. Both are designed to raise social awareness concerning the impact of plastic pollution on our planet (in some parts of the oceans there are floating islands of debris).

Saturday, September 6, 2014 is the date set for the 6th annual race and will be held at Edgewater Park in the Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Reservation. To qualify, boats must be made out of post-consumer recyclable materials and be able to float 300 feet into the lake (and most importantly) 300 feet back to the shore. The contest is open to everyone including students, families, nonprofit organizations as well as individuals.

Trophies will be awarded in several categories including

Fastest Boat
Best Use of Recyclable Materials
Most Artistic Style
Li'l Sailors

This year the judges are Diane Bickett, Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, Bryan Stubbs, Executive Director of the Cleveland Water Alliance, and Hyle Lowry, Ohio Coordinator for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Judging begins at 9:00 a.m. with the boat launch scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

Following the race, all boats will be taken by RES Polyflow which is a Northeast Ohio based advanced technology company that will convert the plastics into energy in the form of crude oil. After the trophy presentations “Drink Local – Drink Tap” will organize an Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach beach cleanup.

Micro-and macroplastics, or small and large bits of plastic, have a serious impact on our land, water, wildlife and public health. Recent research in the Great Lakes has found concentrations of microbeads in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario higher than what is found in the oceans. Microbeads are small, spherical bits of plastic typically found in cosmetics that are manufactured to be washed down the drain and end up in our lake. Some simple steps everyone can take to reduce plastic pollution include buying less plastic products, recycle or reuse items made of plastic and pick up litter before it is washed into local watersheds.

The Boat Float is sponsored by Cleveland Metroparks, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the City of Cleveland's Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative. Funding has been generously provided by the Cleveland Lakefront Parks Conservancy.

For more information visit the Boat Float website at lakeerieboatfloat.org or contact

Cathi Lehn at clehn@cmnh.org or (216) 664-2421.

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