Drink Local Drink Tap exceeds a half million pieces of trash collected on Lake Erie shores

Drink Local Drink Tap (DLDT), an Ohio City nonprofit dedicated to improving water equity, announced on Monday, Oct. 17 that volunteers with the organization have surpassed a half million pieces of trash picked up and disposed of from Lake Erie shores—533,000 pieces to be exact—in its 12 years.

Since 2010 DLDT has hosted 127 clean-ups in neighborhoods and on Lake Erie
Beaches in Northeast Ohio. At the conclusion of Drink Local Drink Tap’s 2022 Summer clean up season, over 1,300 volunteers had helped pick up over 2,000 pounds of trash during the 31 public clean-ups.

These efforts pushed the organization’s cleanup grand total to more than half a million pieces of trash, which weighs more than 15,000 pounds.

Moen was DLDT’s official beach clean up partner this year, when volunteers tracked categories of garbage and reported the data to the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach program during the beach clean-ups.

The data is studied to better understand the health of public spaces and to advocate for Great Lakes conservation.

“Cleaning up neighborhoods and Lake Erie shorelines not only make them safer for friends and families to enjoy, but it also protects Great Lakes ecosystems,” says Joanna Levin, DLDT marketing and communications coordinator. “By minimizing the amounts of microplastics that animals ingest, we safeguard ourselves from consuming microplastics as well.” 

Given the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems, removing trash from beaches helps maintain the natural biodiversity found in Lake Erie.

“Taking care of local freshwater sources is growing more important as severe climate events affect our planet,” says Levin. “Clean water is a human right and volunteering is one way we can make a difference in our environment."

So, what’s next? Now DLDT has set a goal to collect one million pieces of trash. The DLDT 2023 summer cleanup season will be announced this winter. To learn more and get involved in future DLDT beach cleanups, sign up for the organization’s monthly newsletter.

Since 2010, Drink Local Drink Tap has worked both domestically in Northeast Ohio and internationally in Uganda to improve water equity and quality. Thanks to DLDT’s water infrastructure projects in Uganda, more than 42,000 people now have access to clean water and more than 16,000 people have sanitation.

The organization’s mission is to improve water equity through projects, programming and partnerships—believing clean water is a human right.