Anti-Plastic Movement Floats Lake Erie Boat Competition

Sat 9/8 @ 10AM

It’s hard to believe it’s already time for the 10th annual Lake Erie Boat Float. Wasn’t it just 2008?

In 10 years, a lot has changed in the world of water protection, from eliminating plastic straws to reducing toxic algae blooms. But one thing that hasn’t changed is this half-design competition, half-boat race because it is a singularly fun event for everyone, including spectators.

Guest judge Marcus Eriksen, co-founder and research director at the 5 Gyres Institute, returns. Eriksen has led numerous worldwide research expeditions which focus on plastic marine pollution, including 35,000 miles through all five subtropical gyres where he has discovered new patches of plastic pollution in the Southern Hemisphere.

Eriksen’s research in the Great Lakes includes the discovery of toxic, deadly plastic microbeads — like the kind used in completely unnecessary and superficial cosmetic products used by humans — which led to the federal Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. High concentrations of plastic microbeads (1mm in size) have been found in the Great Lakes the past few summers.

Boats are fashioned from post-consumer recyclables. Only upon launching will anyone, including their builders, know whether the vessels will float! Competitors attempt to paddle 300 feet out and back using human power only while vying for Fastest Boat, Best Use of Recyclable Materials and Most Artistic Style prizes.

Li’l Sailors for children ages 12 and under offers kids the chance to build boats and display them on the beach prior to the grown-up competition. It’s free to come down and watch, and learn more about what you can do to fight plastic pollution.


[Written by Lucy McKernan]

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