Thursday, April 6, 2017

Upper Occoquan River Cleanup

Spring is here and it’s time for the annual river clean ups. On Saturday, April 8th, 2017, the Quantico Creek Cleanup will be held in Dumfries Virginia to collect trash along the shore of the creek. Volunteers meet at 17757 Main St. in the Jeff Simpson Community Center starting at 9:00am. Supplies will be handed out to each volunteer and they will be driven to various areas of the creek by Town Staff.

The 8th annual Upper Occoquan cleanup will be Saturday, April 22rd 2017 and will run from 9 am to 2 pm. This massive collection of trash from the Occoquan River happens every year and on this side of the river and on 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. Trash bags, gloves, water and refreshments will be provided to all participants. This is a true river cleanup. As in previous years, the cleanup will be staged from multiple sites along the river, from the canoe/kayak launch area below Lake Jackson dam, down to Lake Ridge / Hooes Run. This cleanup is done primarily by boat – volunteers with canoes, kayaks or jon boats are needed. The signup has all the launch and take-out locations.

If you are not a boater, you might want to join the Occoquan River Cleanup happens the same day. The cleanup runs from 9 am to 2 pm and there are five different sites to volunteer. See Friends of the Occoquan for a list of location. These cleanups and is part of the 29th 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 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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