Kayak cleaning on the North East River
Earth Day volunteers in the Upper Bay have found a creative way to clean up trash in these hard-to-reach places: kayaks. And it was such a success that the group announced their next organized cleanup.
Nearly three dozen kayakers, including several young volunteers, were able to pick up 2,020 pounds of trash from the Northeast River before they could make their way into Chesapeake Bay. The North East-based nonprofit High 5 initiative led the cleanup with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Bay Venture Outfitters provided the kayaks.
The group used the kayaks to access the swampy area in front of the Northeast Community Park, where two streams meet and flow into the river. It is not easily accessible on foot. The goal was to clear the area before the vegetation got too thick to pass through it. They were able to remove 11 tires and many single-use items, according to executives at High 5.
Briana Thompson, co-founder and president of the High 5 Initiative, explains: âThe [North East] The watershed extends as far as Pennsylvania and when Cecil County receives heavy rains, this area sees a great deal of water, sometimes even flooding. All this water brings a lot of waste, so we try to remind people that when you throw things on the street, our sewers go straight to our tributaries. “
The waste totals from the cleanup will be added to the Alliance’s Clean Stream project effort for the Chesapeake Bay for 2021, where cleanups around the bay are always announced and it’s not too late to register one.
The High 5 Initiative is planning its next cleanup at Port Deposit, Maryland, between Conowingo and Ruck Run Parks, “From the Street to the Susquehanna River.” The clean-up includes a living natural habitat of the Northern Maphead Turtle. If the volunteers need an extra incentive, Bog Turtle Brewery will offer refillable growlers to the first 25 volunteers to connect (all over 21, of course).
To get involved, visit https://thehigh5initiative.com/cleanup-initiative.
-Meg Walburn Viviano