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Haw River spring cleaning

By Elaine Chiosso
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2004

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Haw River Clean-up tallies

When 175 volunteers join together to clean up trash from streambanks and islands the results are impressive. Thirteen sites along the Haw River, from Alamance County down to Jordan Lake were cleaned up on March 13, plus two tributaries - Robeson Creek in Pittsboro and Morgan Creek in Chapel Hill. By the end of the day 320 bags of trash, 54 tires and tons of other junk had been hauled out of the water.

The annual Haw River Clean-up has been taking place for 14 years. "A lot of the worst places, like bridge crossings, have actually gotten better over the years, with teams finding less trash" said Haw River Assembly organizer Elaine Chiosso. "But the amount of trash that comes down the river in storms and gets stuck on the islands is as bad as ever."

Paddlers in canoes worked with on-shore team members to clean up some really bad trash 'reefs' and log jams. Members of the Carolina Canoe Club, led by Bob Bruekner, worked their way down river in canoes from Bynum to the Highway 64 bridge in Chatham County. Along the way they found some pretty strange trash, including a dirt bike out on one of the islands, a dog house, half a boat and lots of 'lost" items from bridge and road construction sites.

Other sites were cleaned up by teams from Alamance County College, students from Auldern Academy, the Morgan Creek Valley Alliance, the Pittsboro Stream Steward project, the Army Corps of Engineers, and neighborhood and community groups.

The Weird Trash Award went to the Robeson Creek team for a mysterious optical projection kit and a copy of a 1905 birth certificate from Trenton NJ! Other trash found by teams included an old Blenhiem
Ginger Ale sign, fishing tackle, all kinds of game balls, chairs, buckets, lumber and wire. As always, most of the trash was empty soda bottles and cans.

"This trash causes a real hazard to both water quality and the animals who live in the river. Some of it is dangerous to swimmers and paddlers as well, and it's just plain awful to look at." said Chiosso. The Haw River Assembly, a grassroots river protection group, works year-round to fight pollution, and to educate citizens how they can help keep water clean.

The Haw River Assembly thanks all the local businesses who were sponsors of this year's clean-up teams. Their donations support educational and stream monitoring projects throughout the year.

Elaine Chiosso is executive director of the Haw River Assembly.

Related info:
Haw River Assembly
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
Haw River spring cleaning

Related info:
Haw River Assembly

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