ST. JOSEPH, MI  As part of their "Realtors Do Make The Difference" program, the Southwestern Michigan Association of REALTORS® and affiliate members each year volunteer their services to adopt a local Great Lakes beach. The event is one of fourteen special Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach events throughout the region sponsored by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly to sweep the beach for trash and document the items collected. To volunteer to help clean Silver Beach, please register at www.greatlakesadopt.org.

The REALTORS® are inviting anyone in the community to join them for this fun-filled evening event on May 19, 2016 from 6 pm until 7 pm. Volunteers are asked to register at the at the Barefoot Wine tent located near the beach playground area starting at 5:30. If you would like more information, contact Kathy Pallas, SWMAR Administrative Assistant, at 269-983-6375.


We break into teams and then each team combs all of Silver Beach from the pier head to the end at Park Street. Every type of trash from cigarette filters to bird feathers are picked up and recorded. Usually, the largest categories of trash recorded included cigarette filters, paper and plastic bags, and beverage containers. But there are often unusual items such as old tires and other things that are amusing for the teams to share with the group. At the end of the cleanup, the total amount of trash is weighed, explained Meryl Greene, Coldwell Banker Weber-Seiler, South Haven.

The data and information will be entered it into the Adopt-a-Beach online system, where it is used to complete a beach health assessment, educate the public, share with local beach authorities and improve beaches.

The Southwestern Michigan Association of REALTORS®, Inc. is a professional trade association for real estate licensees and ancillary service providers for the real estate industry in Van Buren, Berrien and Cass counties. The Association is located at 3123 Lake Shore Drive St. Joseph, MI 49085, (269) 983.6375. They can also be contacted through their web site, www.swmar.com.
The mission of the Alliance for the Great Lakes is to: "conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife." The local Alliance is located 700 Fulton Ave., Suite A, Grand Haven, MI 49417. They can also be contacted through their web site, www.greatlakes.org.