You can help spruce up City Beach

Alex Doty • Aug 29, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Volunteers can help leave their mark on Grand Haven City Beach later this week.

The Grand Haven Environment & Natural Resources Committee has planned a beach cleanup for 6 p.m. Thursday at the beach.

“It’s been over 10 years, easily, that we’ve been beach cleaning,” said Joe VanderStel, the manager of the local water plant and city staff liaison for the committee. “We always try to do it in conjunction with a holiday so our beach looks really nice.”

Volunteers will meet near the restroom facility adjacent to the beach parking lot. 

“We try to make it as public as we can,” VanderStel said. “We’ll have a city flag in the sand flying with (available) supplies.”

VanderStel said the volunteer group usually walks the entire beach shoreline from the restrooms all the way down to Grand Avenue. The group then heads back toward the starting point, picking up garbage closer to the road and dune grass.

“No matter how many volunteers we have with us, it usually takes an hour,” he said.

VanderStel said some of the most common items found during the cleanup include cigarette butts, water bottle caps and plastic tips from mini cigars. Volunteers have found bicycles in the dune grass and medical supplies washed up on shore.

“Sometimes you find some weird stuff, but most is plastic caps and cigarette butts,” VanderStel said.

VanderStel said he enjoys participating in the effort, and said people at the beach seem to appreciate the work, too.

“Most people that we bump into, they think it’s really nice,” he said.

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