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Library, beach events planned for Earth Day

While Earth Day is not technically until Tuesday, the Port Orchard branch of the Kitsap Regional Library has been celebrating all month, and a group of volunteers are gathering this morning to clean up local beaches

The 17th annual Sinclair Inlet Cleanup, held each year in honor of Earth Day, is scheduled to begin today at 11 a.m. Groups will gather at two spots at that time — the Annapolis Ferry Dock on the Port Orchard side, or the Bremerton boardwalk on the other side of the inlet.

Organizer Donald Larson said he became involved in the annual clean-up, which typically includes local students, Boy Scouts and scuba divers, when the Kitsap County Department of Ecology approached his dive club, Kitsap Diving Association, to help with its Urban Bay Action Plan.

As a diver, Larson said he and the other divers who got involved were keenly interested in the quality of the water and the surrounding beaches.

“That was our initial drive,” Larson said. “We want clean water for diving, not a garbage dump.”

Over the years, Larson said other county departments have helped fund the clean-up, including the Department of Community Development, and a local non-profit diver’s group.

• At the Port Orchard Library, Earth Day will be celebrated in many ways, including a round of “Water Jeopardy,” a children’s game presented by Kitsap County’s Department of Public Works.

Scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., the game is designed for school-age children and will include questions presented “Jeopardy”-style about groundwater, surface water and water cycles.

Then on Tuesday — the actual Earth Day — the library will host local author Julie Hall and illustrator Sarah Lane, who will lead a discussion and activities based on their new book, “A Hot Planet Needs Cool Kids.”

The program, which is recommended for kids in grades fourth through ninth, will begin at 7 p.m.

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