Robert Ritholz is the Alliance’s first Certified Shoreline Property Steward, recognized for his work improving the quality of his shoreline and contributing to the overall health of the Great Lakes.
The Highland Park, Ill. resident was one of the first to sign onto the new certification program, which engages lakefront property owners in maintaining the quality of Great Lakes beaches as part of the Alliance’s award-winning Adopt-a-Beach™ program.
“I’m honored to be the first Certified Shoreline Property Steward and hope many more property owners will join me,” Ritholz said. “The Alliance gave me the tools for me to do my part to improve the shoreline and Lake Michigan.”
With 80 percent of Great Lakes shoreline privately owned, private beach property owners can play an important role in improving the quality of Great Lakes beaches.
Their regular observations of their property’s water and shoreline can provide a “first alert” to signs of pollution and shoreline changes, and they can take immediate steps to improve the Great Lakes just outside their door.
“Lakefront property owners are uniquely fitted to be important agents in the conservation and restoration of Great Lakes beaches,” said Lyman Welch, Alliance Water Quality Program manager.
Ritholz sets an example for other shoreline property owners, according to Welch, who said the property owner met the program’s requirements of completing Adopt-a-Beach™ training; conducting three or more beach visits; reporting data online and performing a beach improvement.
“The training and tools provided through the Adopt-a-Beach™ Program offer several tactics that enable shoreline property owners to improve water quality,” said Welch. “Simply raking wet sand and letting it lie exposed to the air and sun may reduce contamination.”
Jamie Cross, acting Adopt-a-Beach™ manager, said the new effort to reach out to shoreline property owners is just one more way the Alliance's popular beach cleanup program is working toward long-term solutions for better beach health.
To learn how to become certified as a Shoreline Property Steward, contact the Alliance’s Frances Canonizado at 312-939-0838 x 227 or firstname.lastname@example.org