This unique event helps raise awareness about the impacts of plastics on the environment, in particular oceans, lakes and streams. Part design competition, part boat race, the Great Lake Erie Boat Float is also lots of fun.
Best Use of Recyclable Materials
Most Artistic Style
Hope She Floats
Build a boat using post-consumer recyclable materials. Bring it to Edgewater Park. Launch it and discover if it floats. Compete to be the first to paddle out 300 feet and back (no motors, human power only please). Participants will compete for the title of Fastest Boat, Best Use of Recyclable Materials, and Most Artistic Style.
Every sporting event needs spectators, and the Boat Float is no exception. So even if building a boat doesn’t appeal to you, come down to Edgewater Beach to cheer on the boat teams. And remember — as much fun as it is to watch the boats float, it’s even more fun to see what happens when they don’t.
Immediately following the Boat Float trophy ceremony join Drink Local. Drink Tap. for an Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach™ beach cleanup. Gloves and bags are provided but you are welcome to bring your own. We recommend wearing closed toe shoes and bringing a bottle of water (local tap is the best!).
After the clean-up, volunteers 21 and older will be invited to an after-celebration at a local venue. The after-celebration is a partnership between Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Drink Local. Drink Tap. and the Adopt-A-Beach™ Program to help clean up Great Lakes beaches and shorelines and make them barefoot friendly.
The Li’l Sailors category is for children 12 years of age and younger who would like to build a small boat out of post-consumer recyclable materials. All Li’l Sailors boats will be displayed on the beach and judged prior to the start of the Boat Float. The winner of the Li’l Sailors category will be announced at the conclusion of the Boat Float. Li’l Sailors are encouraged to fill out a registration form to be considered for a prize.
Here are some ideas to help you build a boat. If you have questions read our FAQ.
Your boat should be built out of post-consumer recyclable materials. RES Polyflow representatives will be on hand immediately after the Boat Float to take all petroleum-based materials, like plastic. Using their advanced technology, they can convert these materials into ultra-low sulfur diesel with their conversion process. However, you will be responsible for recycling the remainder of your boat.
Plastics make up a large part of our disposable society, but that luxury comes with a substantial cost. Plastics cause aesthetic problems in our community and economic problems for city sanitation and tourism, and threaten our environment and human health.
Each year, the average American generates 254 pounds of plastic waste. But the truth is that it never really goes “away.” Plastics are manmade organic polymers derived from natural gas and petroleum. When exposed to UV radiation, the polymers break apart and get smaller, but persist as pollutants.
In research conducted in the Great Lakes over the last few summers, high concentrations of plastic microbeads (<1mm in size) were found in Lake Erie.
Reducing plastic pollution starts with you!
Join a local beach cleanup. Learn about cleanups happening near you: