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.

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