Monday, April 4, 2016

Time to Clean Our Rivers

Spring is here and it’s time for the annual river clean ups. This past Saturday, April 2nd 2016 the river cleanup season officially kicked off with the Project Clean Stream. There will be clean ups for the next four weekends check their site to find events where you can volunteer. The Upper Occoquan clean up originally scheduled for this coming Saturday, April 9th 2016 has been Postponed to Saturday, April 23rd 2016 and will be the 7th annual Upper Occoquan River Cleanup. This massive collection of trash from the Occoquan River happens every year and on this side of the river is the combined effort of the Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition, Trash Free Potomac Watershed, Penguin Paddling, Prince William County Parks and Recreation Department and the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District (where I volunteer as a director.) Come on out and help us, I will be serving lunch to all our hard working volunteers.

The Occoquan River Cleanup happens the following week and is part of the 28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup coordinated by the Alice Ferguson Foundation working with the region’s soil and water conservation districts, community groups, employers, and schools happens this time of year throughout the region. The biggest day this year is April 16, 2016. There are many locations and opportunities to join in and help. The Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is the largest regional event of its kind so that you or your group can still participate this year. It is a great single day volunteer opportunity.

Unfortunately, it is necessary to hold these river cleanups annually. Year after year volunteers clean our roadways, streams, rivers, and streambeds of trash that started as litter and carried along by stormwater and wind into our waterways and parks. We also remove items that were illegally dumped in the woods or carried by off by storms. Don’t litter and teach your children not to litter, that is the best way to prevent trash along our roads, streams and waterways. The trash does not magically disappear, but finds its way carried by stormwater to our waterways and parklands disrupting the natural water flow and beauty of our natural world. Come out and help us make our water ways free of trash.

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