Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big Sweep = Big Success!

The call for rain did not deter the 120 dedicated volunteers from participating in the Big Sweep Cleanup of the French Broad River coordinated by RiverLink, Asheville GreenWorks, Asheville Outdoor Center and 1-800-Got Junk this past Saturday. In their brightly colored rain jackets, volunteers from ages 3 years old and up collected 3,440 pounds of trash and about 400 pounds of recyclables from the French Broad River!

Volunteers cleaned up on the riverbanks and in the river in canoes, waders and john boats in the six mile stretch from Hominy Creek to the intersection of Riverside and Broadway. In addition to the usual trash suspects of tires, bottles and cans, volunteers also removed car doors, corroded oil drums and televisions. One cleanup team discovered a huge pile of tires on the river banks near Pearson Bridge Drive where they were able to remove 25 tires with about 100 tires still remaining. RiverLink and Asheville GreenWorks are working on getting these tires removed. Illegal dumping of tires and other trash is a big problem in the French Broad River Watershed especially along riverbanks.

"Trash negatively impacts the water quality of the French Broad River. It also makes fun recreational water activities not enjoyable. Who wants to see tires when kayaking or canoeing down the river?" says Hartwell Carson, RiverLink's French Broad Riverkeeper. "These volunteers are directly helping to improve the river's water quality and making our river a more beautiful waterway for everyone."

RiverLink thanks everyone who participated in the Big Sweep Cleanup including Asheville Outdoor Center for lending canoes and 1-800-Got-Junk for collecting and transporting the trash and recyclables to their proper disposal places.

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