Students from St. John’s Lutheran School in Rogers City made the trek to Alpena today to learn more about our waterways. They engaged in marine debris collection both on land and on the water.“We got a grant from the Michigan Nature Association which provided funding for bus transportation and rental of the kayaks so students could go around the island and check areas where the debris would lodge itself and would be difficult to get from the trail side,” said Tonya Langlois, St. John Lutheran School principal.
While it was the student’s field trip to the Island Park, the students are no stranger to environmental stewardship. Just last month they collected a total of 248 lbs of marine debris.“When I see them pick up trash without being motivated, whether we’re out on walk, or in the classroom, on our playground, and they know that this makes a difference,” said Langois. “Because if we can stop it from getting to our water, it will not go from our waterways to the Great Lakes, and will not get into our fish, and we will not be consuming it. We’re ecstatic when they take ownership and want to pick up debris because it does not belong there.”
Between their efforts by trail and waterway, they collected roughly 30 pounds on today’s field trip. It all adds up to protect our natural resources. “Only 3% of [the water in the world] is fresh water that is potable, in other words drinkable or usable,” said Judy Kalmanek, Secretary of the Wildlife Sanctuary Board. “20% of that 3% is in the Great Lakes. We have a great responsibility here to protect that for water ourselves, our children, and their children on down the line so that it will always be available for them.”