Keeping it clean: To the very last drop

With mandatory water restrictions in place for  both the city and county, residents everywhere scan the skies for dark clouds. The less optimistic eye the reservoirs with an ever-increasing sense of alarm. Not much to do but wait, conserve, and clean up what little remains of our waterways.
Each autumn, the river’s receding waters are awash in discarded trash. Sixty percent of trash in Virginia’s rivers, most of it plastic, comes from land sources. The most frequently deposited debris comes from cigarette butts made of plastic fibers. These butts have composed 17 percent of garbage collected from our rivers, lakes, and the ocean during volunteer clean-up efforts– hefty numbers for such a little item.
To combat this refuse in our neck of the woods, the Rivanna Conservation Society again gears up for their annual river clean-up. From the headwaters of the Moormans River to the mouth of the Rivanna, from Ragged Mountain Reservoir to Lake Monticello, from Earlysville to Palmyra, from Doyles River to Meadow Creek, the RCS asks that you sponsor a small-scale, localized stream clean-up.
Groups can tackle a backyard creek, a local park tributary, an unkempt neighborhood drain, or a trailside trench. It need not be lengthy or remote. Improvement in any size stream will help make a difference. A few hours, a couple of trash bags, and some like-minded individuals can and do make a world of difference.
And as in past years, RCS will coordinate volunteers in trash removal efforts both by canoe and on foot. VDOT and local government agencies are committed to the cause—they’ll collect bagged trash at designated pickup locations. All tributary clean-ups will be conducted in coordination with, and as an integral part of, the Annual Rivanna River Clean-Up.
Efforts to clean our water could not have come at a better time. Emergency measures have everyone looking at a wide variety of options to keep the water flowing. If we have to start to use resources that have previously never been used, keeping those resources clean and refuse-free seems like a good start.
An evening party will follow the day’s activities.

Contact RCS to register as a local clean-up sponsor for your own chosen stream OR to float/walk a portion of the river. Providing your own canoe will help out with placement but is not mandatory. RCS will help choose sites that are safe and accessible and can accommodate any group. Children are welcome and encouraged to participate. To register for the October 19 Rivanna River Clean-Up and coordinate activities, call 589-7576, or email  HYPERLINK "mailto:rcs@avenue.org" rcs@avenue.org. It’s time to take out the trash.