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Less mess at Torch Lake after July 4, but crews see more of one kind of trash

TORCH LAKE — Fourth of July and the holiday weekend brings tons of visitors to Northern Michigan, especially Torch Lake, and with them comes tons of trash.

Each year, one group spends the Monday after making sure the lake stays as clean as possible

“We had noticed that after Fourth of July weekend, especially that first year, like 2015, the amount of trash and stuff in the water was just outrageous,” said Jeff Guy, co-founder of Stand Up for Great Lakes. “And we just felt like we needed to, one – try to help clean it up, two – just bring awareness.”


Guy said it isn’t just about keeping the lake looking good. It keeps visitors and life in the lake safer too.

“You don’t want your kid picking up a cigarette butt or a can or something like that,” said Guy. “Also, just a lot of this stuff does not degrade. So microplastics, a lot of the stuff we find, could just be in here forever and [is] not healthy for the lake.”

Stand Up for Great Lakes said this year wasn’t as bad for trash as they’ve seen in the past.

“I think we had maybe 15, 20 people out here helping out. And the weather isn’t the greatest, so we are very happy with that turnout. And we didn’t find a lot of a lot of stuff, which is great. A lot of these little pouches, you could spend all day out here picking those up.”


The pouches he is talking about are Zyn, nicotine pouches used in place of vaping. Just looking at the water, we could see the little white pouches everywhere.

Kwin Morris, another founding member of Stand Up for Great Lakes, said they want to preserve the natural resources he’s take for granted his whole life.

“Look at this place. There’s no place like this on Earth, this much fresh water, clean, blue, clear. We grew up here, so we know how amazing it is. And we want to keep it like that, not only for ourselves, but for other people and future generations,” said Morris.

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