For immediate release Sept. 13, 2006 Contacts: J.D. Strauss: 262-632-6440 ext. 27 Cameron Davis: 312-375-2004 Racine to Launch Beach Cleanup, State Coastal Awareness Month RACINE, Wis. -- Sprucing up the lakefront to draw more people to Lake Michigan and inspire greater investment in this vital resource will be the focus of a press conference and "Family Beach Cleanup" Saturday, Sept. 16 at North Beach. Gary Becker, mayor of Racine and chairman of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, will be joined at a 9:30 a.m. press conference with representatives of SC Johnson, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the Racine Health Department and others to issue a state proclamation declaring September "Wisconsin Coastal Awareness Month." The event kicks off Racine's first September Adopt-a-Beach cleanup, a volunteer cleanup that coincides with the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup the same day. Other featured events include: * The Racine County Dive Team will be on hand to display equipment and demonstrate an underwater cleanup. * Migratory bird management representatives will demonstrate how border collies are used to control geese and gull populations. * The Racine Zoo will provide a "hands-on" educational booth exploring the wildlife of the Great Lakes region. * The Racine Health Department will discuss its beach monitoring program, how and why beach advisories and closings are issued, and efforts to improve local beach health. "Citizen volunteers have been an integral part of community efforts to improve beach aesthetics and recreational water quality in Racine," said Becker. "The Alliance's Adopt-A-Beach Program is another way in which people can get involved and become stakeholders in the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes." The Alliance for the Great Lakes' Adopt-a-Beach program - a 15-year institution in neighboring Michigan - has been launched in Southeast Wisconsin after two years of piloting, powered this year in large part by a $30,000 WCMP grant. "At a time when beaches are under heavy pressure to provide recreation and quality of life in the region, the Alliance's Adopt-a-Beach program is a way for people to give something back and be part of the solution," said Cameron Davis, president of the Alliance (formerly the Lake Michigan Federation). Davis praised Becker for his leadership in Racine, with WCMP and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, and thanked SC Johnson in Racine and Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee for their support of the Adopt-a-Beach program in Wisconsin. In Illinois and Michigan alone last year, more than 3,900 volunteers removed nearly 20,000 pounds of trash along 187 miles of shoreline during the one-day September Adopt-a-Beach cleanup. Today 100-plus volunteer groups participate in Adopt-a-Beach programs on four of the five Great Lakes - a chance to be "part of something bigger" while making a difference in their own back yards. "The Department of Administration's Coastal Management Program is proud to support the Adopt-A-Beach program," said Laura Arbuckle, administrator for the Division of Intergovernmental Relations. "Racine's coastal cleanup is one of many events taking place during Wisconsin's 2006 Coastal Awareness Month and embodies the sprit of enjoyment and stewardship that the month commemorates." Art Montgomery, Wisconsin Adopt-a-Beach coordinator for the Alliance, noted that Wisconsin residents have a long history of stewardship to the state's beautiful natural resources. "The Adopt-a-Beach program has given our volunteers an important tool in their continued efforts to assure that future generations benefit from this beautiful resource," he said. Visit http://www.greatlakesadopt.org/home.php <http://www.greatlakesadopt.org/home.php> for more information about Adopt-a-Beach, and http://coastal.wisconsin.gov to learn more about the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. ### Formed in 1970, the Alliance for the Great Lakes is the oldest citizens' Great Lakes organization in North America. Our mission is to conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife.