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Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper wraps up weeklong spring sweep

Volunteers were armed with trash bags to clear away tons of garbage at Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park, Thomas Higgins Riverfront Park, and Ellicott Creek Park.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is wrapping up a weeklong cleanup as part of its spring sweep.

Volunteers stopped by several parks to help with the effort, including Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park, Thomas Higgins Riverfront Park in Buffalo, as well as Ellicott Creek Park in Tonawanda.

It was part of the Great Lakes cleanup, where volunteers were armed with trash bags to clear away tons of garbage around all five bodies of water.

Litter pollution is on the rise, with more single-use plastics use since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a threat to drinking water and wildlife species.

Assemblyman Patrick Burke, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, and Erie County parks, recreation, and forestry commissioner Troy Schinzel were at Seneca Bluffs for the cleanup effort.

Burke says more money is needed for local parks.

"Seneca Bluffs, this is a natural habitat park in the city," he said. "That is a unique thing."