Standing Strong for Waukegan’s Lakefront

Clean Power Waukegan hands across the sand_sq_09-28-14_docsize
More than 120 people stand together on Waukegan’s Municipal Beach—in view of the coal-fired NRG plant—to demand healthier a clean-energy economy. [Photo by Karen Long MacLeod/courtesy of Clean Power Lake County Campaign]
How does it feel to cross through the dunes that line the Waukegan lakefront, plant your feet in the warm sand, gaze out across the clear blue water of Lake Michigan on a picture-perfect day, and stand hand in hand with friends old and new in a line as long as two football fields end to end?

“Inclusive.” “Far-reaching.” “Inspiring.”

You know you are standing up for something that’s worth protecting. You know you are in good company.

That’s how we felt after Hands Across the Sand: Solidarity for Clean Water & Clean Power, a beach sweep and clean-energy rally hosted by the Clean Power Lake County Campaign on Sunday, September 28, at Waukegan’s Municipal Beach.

And we felt that way whether we hailed from the lakefront communities of Waukegan, North Chicago, Zion or Winthrop Harbor, from other Lake County communities, or even from Joliet and Peoria.

Dulce “Candy” Ortiz and Antonio Lopez.
Antonio Lopez (second from right), executive director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization in Chicago, presents a bandana from the People’s Climate Justice Summit as a souvenir to Dulce “Candy” Ortiz (second from left) of Waukegan in recognition of their common goals of environmental, economic and social justice. Lopez marched in the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21 and attended the People’s Climate Justice Summit September 22-23. Also shown: Sister Kathleen Long (left) of Most Blessed Trinity Parish of Waukegan, and David Villalobos (right) of Waukegan. [Photo by Karen Long MacLeod/ courtesy of Clean Power Lake County Campaign]
Beach sweep during Hands Across the Sand.
Volunteers picked up enough trash to fill dozens of garbage bags during a sweep of Waukegan’s Municipal Beach. [Photo by Karen Long MacLeod/courtesy of Clean Power Lake County Campaign]
Why we felt so good after Hands Across the Sand:

  • We picked up enough litter to fill dozens of garbage bags, which helped enhance Waukegan’s lakefront for the enjoyment of its many visitors.
  • We introduced several people who’d never visited Waukegan’s beach to a unique, irreplaceable natural resource.
  • We learned how healthier clean-energy economies ensure environmental, economic and social justice.

For more details, check out our 9/29/14 press release or the 9/29/14 story in the Lake County News-Sun.

Join Hands Across the Sand to Call for Clean Water and Clean Power

NRG Energy’s recent decision to continue burning coal at its plants in Waukegan, Pekin, and Romeoville, Illinois, condemns the surrounding communities to more years of deadly air and water pollution.

On Sunday, September 28, community leaders who live next to these plants will join forces at Waukegan Municipal Beach in Waukegan, Illinois, to demand a fossil fuel-free, clean energy future for their communities.

The event, hosted by the Clean Power Lake County Campaign, will kick off at 2 p.m. with a beach clean-up. Afterward, at approximately 2:45 p.m., community leaders and environmental experts will share their hopes for a cleaner, healthier future.

Scheduled speakers include Dulce “Candy” Ortiz and David Villalobos, Clean Power Lake County; Ellen Rendulich, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (CARE); Tracy Fox, Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste; and Faith Bugel, Environmental Law & Policy Center.

We will stand together on Waukegan’s beach to send a clear message that our communities are ready for a healthy clean energy future.

Will you stand with us?

Event Summary

What: Hands Across the Sand: Solidarity for Clean Water and Clean Power

Where: Waukegan Municipal Beach, 201 Sea Horse Drive, Waukegan, IL 60085 (parking fees will be waived; park in North Lot by the beach)

When: Sunday, September 28, 2014, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

RSVP and questions: Christine.nannicelli@sierraclub.org