Through the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach program Muskegon Save Our Shoreline has adopted a portion of Muskegon's Pere Marquette Beach. We have adopted the non-smoking portion of the beach from the breakwall south to the bathhouse. We gather on the 3rd Saturday of the months of April, June, July, August and September from 9AM to noon. We pick up trash and record and weigh it as well as take water samples and survey the condition of the beach. All are welcome to help. We furnish trash bags and equipment.
Cigarette butts are the number one world litter problem with approximately 4.3 trillion butts being littered worldwide each year. A cigarette butt takes at least 12 years to degrade if it does. Butts can leach chemicals such as chromium, cadmium, lead, and arsenic into our waterways within minutes of contact with the water. The cellulose fibers are coated with tobacco tar which contain carcinogens. Such fibers have been found in the lungs of lung cancer patients. Plus, discarded butts have been found in the stomachs of infants, birds, animals, and fish.
In 2007, members of Muskegon Save Our Shoreline worked as part of a small team of citizens to have part of Muskegon's Pere Marquette Park designated as smoke-free to keep butts off the beaches. We would hope to see that designation extended in the future.
Please kindly pass the word that cigarette butts are litter that harms the environment and us! Urge that there be trash containers available for people to put their butts in. Thank you.