Genesee's Community College Earth Club Leads 3rd Annual Oatka Creek Clean Up

Members of Genesee Community College’s Earth Club and Environmental Studies students will kickoff the 2010-2011 academic year with their first group service project, an Oatka Creek Clean Up. On Saturday, September 25 from 9:00am-1:00pm, the Earth Club along with Genesee’s Environmental Studies students will cover one and a half miles of the Oatka Creek Park on Union Street in the town of Wheatland.

Members of Genesee Community College’s Earth Club and Environmental Studies students will kickoff the 2010-2011 academic year with their first group service project, an Oatka Creek Clean Up. On Saturday, September 25 from 9:00am-1:00pm, the Earth Club along with Genesee’s Environmental Studies students will cover one and a half miles of the Oatka Creek Park on Union Street in the town of Wheatland. The Creek Clean Up is part of a national initiative sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup and the American Littoral Society’s Annual New York State Beach Clean Up. This is the third time Genesee students and faculty members have volunteered for the cause.

Students and volunteers will break into teams, with each team equipped with a data recording card and a trash bag. Teams will gather trash and record what they find. At the end of the day, the trash will be totaled and weighed. Last year, the volunteers collected eight bags of trash, totaling 190 pounds of debris. The data will be compiled and will be sent into the national Coastal Clean-up organizers.

“It’s wonderful to see these students spend their Saturday helping out for a great cause,” Maureen Leupold, Earth Club member and professor of Biology at Genesee said. “Although this maybe one small creek clean-up, it is all part of the bigger picture of environmental responsibility.”

The Ocean Conservancy is the world's foremost advocate for the oceans. Through science-based advocacy, research, and public education, they inform, inspire and empower people to speak and act on behalf of healthy oceans. Ocean Conservancy is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific, with support from more than half a million members and volunteers.

The American Littoral Society is a national, nonprofit, public-interest organization comprised of over 6,000 professional and amateur naturalists, with headquarters in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The society seeks to encourage a better scientific and public understanding of the marine environment, provide a unified voice advocating protection of the delicate fabric of life along the shore, and has been protecting coastal habitats since 1961. Each creek clean up participant will receive a certificate of participation and appreciation from Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society.

Genesee Community College is on the forefront of this exciting and important industry with recent enhancements to its Environmental Studies degree program. This program offers an excellent introduction to the field, with plenty of hands-on learning, and small class and laboratory sizes offering exceptional instruction. Environmental Studies students have access to on-campus nature trail featuring plants and other wildlife demarcated with signage along the way. Students also have the opportunity to go out in the field for hands-on experience within the rural region that surrounds the GLOW region. To find out more about Genesee’s Environmental Studies program visit www.genesee.edu .

For further information about Genesee’s Environmental Studies program or to volunteer at the Creek Clean Up, please contact Biology Professor Maureen Leupold at 585-343-0055 x6394..

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Editors Note: A photograph of Genesee’s Earth Club members at the 2009 Oatka Creek Clean Up is available at: http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/Cleanup_09.jpg

CAPTION: Last year, students in Genesee Community College’s Earth Club cleaned up 1.5 miles of the Oatka Creek in the town of Wheatland and gathered 190 pounds of debris. Front left to right are: Maureen Leupold, Biology professor at Genesee, Chelsy Richley, Naoka Hayas, Jamie Ander, Ricky Howard, Joseph Rimbeck and Matthew Hernandez.
 

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