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Purchase Students Volunteer to Clean Rye Sanctuary

HARRISON, N.Y. - These students didn't need to wait until graduation to help make a difference.

Purchase College Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Susan Letcher and students from her program donated their Saturday last weekend to help clean the Edith Read Sanctuary in Rye.

"This is the 26th annual International Beach Clean-up," Letcher said. "It's an effort to get our shores cleaned up and also get some data on what kinds of garbage are washing ashore."

Students were joined by Rye Community College faculty and also took time to discuss beach erosion with officials at the sanctuary. Letcher said 72 students from the college participated and they will be collecting and analyzing data in the coming weeks to learn how much garbage was collected.

Melissa Wheeler, assistant director of community partnerships at Purchase, took photos as students were arm-deep in the shore.

"I'm excited to hear how much trash they picked up," Wheeler said. "This really was a great program and I'm so glad so many students were able to get involved."

Environmental studies at Purchase is a hybrid and growing program that cites its hands-on education as an important aspect of learning.

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