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Men's Swimming & Diving

Gallaudet Aqua-Bison help clean up beach habitat

Gallaudet Aqua-Bison help clean up beach habitat

WASHINGTON, D.C. --The Gallaudet University Men and Women’s Swim Team will work with the Surfrider Foundation on Sunday September 7 to help clean up Delaware Seashore State Park as part of Surfrider’s successful environmental awareness campaign.

“We are delighted to help Surfrider and local citizens reduce beach litter, promote recycling and educate about coastal wildlife,” said William Snape, the head swim coach at Gallaudet and a lawyer with the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity. Federally threatened species such as the piping plover benefit from healthy beaches, as do other species protected under the Endangered Species Act such as the endangered roseate tern, the threatened beach tiger beetle and the threatened seabeach amaranth.

The Gallaudet swim squad is entering its fifth year under Coach Snape and is primed for perhaps its fastest team in school history. The Surfrider outing marks the start of the 2008-09 season, allowing the 25-member team to enjoy water not saturated with chlorine and to skip its normal four-mile workout on weekend mornings. “Our team is excited to spend some time in the surf, protecting the beach and catching some waves,” said Gallaudet senior Scott Cohen, an avid surfer and conservationist from Hawaii who proposed the beach cleanup.

Snape and the Center for Biological Diversity have advocated for the Atlantic piping plover – a migratory sandy-colored bird with yellow-orange legs and a black ring around its neck – and other imperiled species for over a decade. The Endangered Species Act is an important tool in protecting declining beach wildlife, particularly now as global warming increases the chances of beach erosion, acidifies the ocean water and changes the composition of coastal ecosystems.

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people. It has partnered with the Center for Biological Diversity on many endangered species and habitat issues, including rollbacks proposed by the current presidential administration.
Gallaudet University is the only four-year university in the world dedicated to the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and is a leader in promoting athletic events in the nation’s capitol.

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