On April 23, I led my fifth beach cleanup through the Alliance for the Great Lakes' Adopt-a-Beach™ program. Thanks to 20 dedicated volunteers, we collected over 30 pounds of trash from Lee Street Beach in Evanston. That's a lot of trash! But the amazing part is that 80% of what we found was debris no bigger than the size of a quarter: pieces of plastic, styrofoam, paper, glass and metal.
A few years ago I photographed this type of debris in a series called "Beach Trashed." This image compiles photos taken in the course of just one hour on one beach.
While small, this trash can harm fish and other wildlife. But the most damaging substances can't be seen by the naked eye – like the microbes used in cosmetics, pieces of thread from fleece products, and mercury and lead dumped in the lake by industry.
If you’re interested in learning more about pollution in Lake Michigan — and what you can do to help eliminate it — visit the Alliance for the Great Lakes, The Story of Stuff and The Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN).
May's calendar image, "Rain Cloud," was shot from the Evanston shore. This cloud formation contains several interesting meteorological elements: The overall structure is often called a Thunder Head, the highest clouds stretched out in a thin layer are called an Anvil, and the small ball-like clouds on the underside are known as Mammatus Clouds (something I just learned myself!). The hazy part extending down to the horizon is a Rain Curtain — formed by, you guessed it, falling rain.