Friday, April 23, 2010

The Mon River Summit has come and gone, and I have to confess to being disappointed. It was difficult to listen, again, to how concerned the Corps of Engineers and all are about litter on the river, then to see everyone move right on to harangue about other issues.

It's my fault, I'm sure. Don Spencer of our City Council told me I need to attend all of the river meetings if I want to make progress. But I abhor meetings. I'm sure they do some good. But I somehow think that something will break, that there will be some philanthropist or sponsor who will want to help us get the litter off the river.

The river looks pretty good now. About one week after the terrible mess of the litter coming through the dam and into the Morgantown Wharf District.

Friday, April 16, 2010

No litter cleanup tonight, Friday, April 16

The litter situation is under control, so we don't need an emergency cleanup tonight. We did one last night, and our local parks department worked all day on the mess. So, we are good for the present. Thanks for all the interest and support.

Litter has been dealt with - for now

Yesterday, our a crew from our parks department in Morgantown spent hours cleaning up the east bank of the river from Walnut Street upriver past the Waterfront Place Wharf District. They did a bang-up job! Thanks! Ralph LaRue, the supervisor, was upset, too.

This morning I saw the WVU rowing teams out on the river practicing for their meet this weekend. That's always a beautiful scene. And because of BOPARC's effort, it was this morning.

Do you hear what I'm saying? We have a rowing team that will bring people from other states onto our river, and fans of both teams will be on the banks cheering. What kind of impression do we want them to take away when they see our river? A good one, of course, but that's going to take some hard discussion and planning and work and commitment.

Things are better now than in the past. For example, our parks department cleaned up the litter spill. That would not have happened years ago. And Richard Lockwood of the Corps of Engineers has expressed his regret about the incident.

Deepest apologies to you and all our Mon River Partners. Please know that we are sensitive to the issue of Drift and Debris on the Mon - especially at Morgantown - and would never intentionally flush debris through any of our dams.
Unfortunately we needed to set a bulkhead in the dam gate bay at Morgantown for safety purposes. This was related to an ongoing maintenance contract on our remote dam controls. The only way to set that bulkhead was to clear the gate bay.
While the outcome of that operation with respect to debris would have been the same no matter what, I think we owe it to you as our partner not to create a nasty "surprise". Clearly we did just that.
Hopefully you are aware that Harry Durinzi has retired and that Lockmaster Bob "Smitty" Smith has moved to backfill behind Harry. While Smitty is a highly skilled Lockmaster, we may not have passed to him the same level of partnering that we had developed with Harry. That failing is mine and I deeply apologize."

I will attend the Mon River Summit Monday and talk to all concerned to see what progress can be made on this issue.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Early this week the Corps of Engineers let litter through the Morgantown Dam, and this is the result as of Thursday morning, April 15.

(click the photos to see clearly).

A tragedy.

We had done a river cleanup Sunday, and we thought things were in pretty good condition along the river banks in Morgantown. Our next cleanup would take us above the dam. But now, it's an absolute mess. Just in time for spring. We were talking about when the black locust trees would bloom and how beautiful that would be along the river. But now...

Please watch the 1 minute slide-show. UPDATE: Ralph Larue's BOPARC crew has done a lot of work today, and much of this is gone. There's still more for a cleanup this evening, April 15. Morgantown Marina, by the railtrail Subway. 5 p.m. at the dock.

Well, we need some help here. I'm planning an emergency cleanup tonight, Thursday, April 15 and tomorrow, Friday April 16. Starting at the marina behind the Boathouse Bistro (near the Subway in the Wharf District). Please call me at 304 276-8306 if you can join the cleanup crew. Some of this has gone downstream, and someone also cleaned up an area near Decker's Creek. But it's still real bad. I have gloves, grabbers, bags and a boat. I need two to four people each evening. I should mention that someone has cleaned up the point above Decker's Creek since Wednesday evening. Thanks!

We need for the Corps to inform us when the debris behind the dam is going to be let go!

Monday, April 12, 2010

This photo was taken Sunday, April 11 on the west bank of the Monongahela River near Morgantown. They are called bluebells. You won't see these walking down the sidewalks or driving to the mall, I don't think. Nature has treasures for us - marvels that we can never match with our craft.

Photo by Maureen Terman, first mate of the Monongahela Monitor.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's been pretty warm and the river level has fallen quite a bit. So, I'm taking a group of Navy Reservists out for a kayak trip Sunday. What is the Navy doing in Morgantown, you may ask. Training. Whatever. Looking forward to my first paddle on the Mon for 2001. Also, I'll be doing the first river cleanup Sunday.