People all across the Great Lakes step up to help the lakes in many ways. From beach clean ups to advocacy to chipping in financially and representing the Alliance at community events, our supporters are getting things done. They’re also having fun together, bringing new people into the work, and making the Great Lakes part of their lives.

Our volunteers inspire us! Let us introduce you to a few who made a difference last year.

Bringing People and Water Together on the Young Professional Council

In 2017, the Alliance launched the Cleveland chapter of our all-volunteer Young Professional Council. Hunter Scott joined because she saw an opportunity to help shape the new organization to strengthen the connection between Cleveland communities and clean water.

Outside of the Council, Scott works as a community organizer to promote social justice, environmental health, and workforce development. Her commitment to clean water is deeply tied to her passion for her community and a desire to create a more just society.

Scott combines her passions and interests by leading a public education campaign to reduce plastic pollution in Cleveland. She wants all Clevelanders to enjoy clean water and a positive connection to the Great Lakes. She’s excited to help make that happen as a member of the Cleveland Young Professional Council, and we’re equally excited to have her on board!

Keeping It Clean, From the Beach to the Lakebed

It’s been just over a year since John Albergo became an Adopt-a-Beach volunteer, and has already gone well below the surface. Albergo is a certified SCUBA diver, and he uses his unique skills to keep the lakes clean.

“You get a close up look at what people dump in Lake Michigan, and it isn’t pretty,” he said. He even provided a few examples of the bizarre items he and his dive team have found, “A microwave, a mini-fridge, fishing gear, a gun, a bicycle, and even a length of chain-link fence.”

Yikes! John is one of more than 15,000 volunteers that step up every year to clean up the shores of our Great Lakes. Thanks for going above and beyond. Or should we say, below and beyond.

Using Adventure to Inspire a Love of the Lakes

Just as we have volunteers who stick to the shores, and some who dive deep, Kevin Cullen and Christian Edie are two lake-loving supporters known to hang out on the surface. These world travelers and athletic adventurers love to surf and paddle board on Lake Erie.

When they’re not riding the waves or traversing rapids, Cullen and Edie can be found running their multi-sport and outdoor recreational guide business—SUP Erie Adventures. This duo believes “people don’t appreciate what they don’t relate to.” Their mission is to get people out on the water and cultivate a love of the lakes.

In 2017, they volunteered their time and services to team up with the Alliance. Cullen and Edie led an Adopt-a-Beach team of all ages in a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) session to kick off their clean up. And it was an unforgettable experience!