Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Last weekend cleanup

We had our first "casual" cleanup on the Mon last weekend. I say casual because the first time out this year we had the big debris release. I understand from the Solid Waste Authority that our crew (including BOPARC and the women's rowing team coaches) pulled more than 1,000 pounds of litter out of the river and about 20 tires on June 15.

This was last weekend, with Jim Geiger and his sons. I think everyone enjoyed the trip, but Jim got a little muddy. Jim, hope you didn't get in trouble. We picked up some litter, but perhaps more importantly, we introduced a couple young people to the Monongahela River and working for a clean environment. That's the goal.

Peggy Pings of the National Park Service went too, and took these photos. Click for larger versions.

Top: Jim, his boys, and me.

Below: Josh learning to steer the boat. He did a real good job. Whenever I take kids out, I always give them a chance to steer. They love it. I would have, when I was a kid.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Debris Release - June 2011

We had a pretty successful liter removal on the river in response to the Corps of Engineers release of debris at the Morgantown Dam. We were informed in advance, and had a crew in place. We were aided by the local parks department, BOPARC, the WVU Women's Rowing Team assistant coaches and the state Department of Environmental Protection. CLICK PHOTOS FOR LARGER IMAGE.

top: The crew off loading our first catch of the day at the foot of Walnut Street, Morgantown. It was about 10 a.m. The debris release began around 8 a.m.

Here we are in the Morgantown Lock, among a debris field. Josh, a WVU student, is giving his best reach with a long "grabber."

Scott, Shay, and Alex man the grabbers as Chris bags.

The crew below the dam with a load for Walnut Street.

At the end of the day, about 2:30 p.m., actually the end of our ability to continue, we had removed about 50 bags of litter and 18 tires. Below, Scott Lemons of the DEP checks the total as Chris Wilson, a volunteer, rolls one last tire onto the pile. Thanks to all who participated!

People ask: Why doesn't someone do something about this problem (litter behind the dam). The Corps should do something, they say. But the Corps is not funded to do litter removal. Well then, why don't we get a litter skimmer out there and keep this cleaned up? Who has $100,00 for such a machine, and who will pay an operator. Well something should be done, they say. These photos you see are it: something being done. This is the best response we can mount. If you have a better idea, let me know. Of course the ultimate answer is to end littering, which causes this situation in the first place.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Remember "Tradgey on the Mon" last spring, well here it comes again

The Corps of Engineers is going to do some work on the Morgantown Dam, and the debris and litter behind the dam will be released on Monday morning.

They had planned to do the work beginning on Thursday, April 9, but were convinced to delay the project because of this weekend's Arts and River Festival.

So, we're going to have a mess on the river Monday. I am organizing an emergency litter response. I have contacted the county litter control, the WV Department of Natural Resources and our local parks department for help.

If you have a boat and can help Monday, please let me know. If you want to see what kind of mess we are talking about, see my blog post from last April.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back in business, finally

The deck is finished! Almost looks too good for picking up muddy litter, but that's our purpose. Took Alex Hines of WBOY up through the lock to get a look at the litter. Wow, we've got our work cut out for us this summer! Here's his story. Thanks, Alex. Here's our summer schedule.