Ocean Conservation Club participates in clean-ups

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Ocean Conservation Club participates in clean-ups

The Ocean Conservation Club and SEAC hosted cleanups this weekend.

The Ocean Conservation Club and SEAC hosted cleanups this weekend.

Photo by Ricky Labrada

The Ocean Conservation Club and SEAC hosted cleanups this weekend.

Photo by Ricky Labrada

Photo by Ricky Labrada

The Ocean Conservation Club and SEAC hosted cleanups this weekend.

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This past weekend Marquette University Ocean Conservation club organized and participated in two new clean-ups in Milwaukee. The first was on Bradford beach and the second was on Marquette’s Campus. 

The Ocean Conservation club headed to Bradford Beach around noon on Saturday with student volunteers and supplies for their first beach clean-up.

“A few amazing ladies and I started the Ocean Conservation club to educate the Marquette community and take action regarding issues with the Midwest’s impact on oceanic health,” Marie Crowe, president and founder of Marquette’s Ocean Conservation club and a senior in the College of Health Sciences, said. “We have fun educational meetings, guest speakers and most importantly beach clean-ups.”

“Bradford beach has become very disgusting,” Crowe said. “There is garbage everywhere which will eventually end up in the ocean. Our goal is to prevent that.”

At the end of the hour-and-a-half clean-up, all the garbage the group collected was weighed.

“It was a cool way to see how much of difference we are making,” Crowe said.

The final tally was 88.38 pounds of trash.

“Marquette students came together to make a difference, which is truly incredible,” Crowe said.

Crowe was inspired to start Ocean Conservation club after a summer internship at the Milwaukee county zoo where she worked with seals and sea lions.

Being so close to such amazing animals inspired me to do more,” Crowe said. “Being in the Midwest, most people don’t even think about the ocean because it doesn’t affect them, but that’s simply not true — actions we take in the Midwest affects the health of the ocean and the health of the ocean affects the Midwest.”

Crowe started the Oceans Conservation Club in the Fall of 2018, after her internship at the zoo.

Crowe says that students that want to get involved with the Ocean Conservation club can go to events and meetings, subscribe to their email list or like them on social media. 

The second clean up was through Students for an Environmentally Active Campus.

“SEAC is the most broad environmental group on campus and we put on a variety of events throughout the year,” Laura Schmit, the secretary of SEAC and a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “We have an annual plant sale, we tour a recycling center, go on hikes, advocate for composting and recycling along with sharing ways we can all live more sustainably on campus.”

This Sunday marked SEAC’s first ever Campus Clean-Up.

“Basically, this (Campus Clean-Up) is a new initiative to get all of campus motivated to help keep the blocks around campus clean,” Schmidt said.

In preparation for the event, SEAC reached out to many clubs and on campus for support and volunteers. While SEAC is sponsoring the Campus Clean-Up on their own, MUSG will help run the event by providing equipment as well as donuts and refreshments.

“We are looking to make this a continual event and host two to three clean-ups per semester in the future,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said that people who are interested in participating in Campus Clean-Ups in the future should find SEAC on social media, send them an email at marquette.seac@gmail.com, get their student organization involved, or simply be on the lookout for the next sign up.

“Student clubs like these inspire the campus to contemplate its relationship with the environment and to collaborate on taking action and finding solutions,” Brent Ribble, Marquette’s sustainability coordinator, said. “They galvanize passionate students around a shared sense of purpose and give them valuable opportunities and experiences in sustainability leadership.”

As a whole, Ribble said he has seen substantial growth in sustainable practices in and around Marquette since his start in 2016.

“We have amplified our community’s awareness and understanding of sustainability, and our students-faculty-staff are more motivated now to take action in pursuit of social, environmental and climate justice,” Ribble said over email. “This is an exciting time for sustainability at Marquette; momentum is building and we are eager to accelerate our efforts during the next several years.” 

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