Nicole Triplett (the Riverkeeper), Chris Luffman (award winning river cleaner), and I joined some people from Sturgeon City and the City of Jacksonville Stormwater department to collect some of the trash from the New River.
We put in at Sturgeon City (new Wilson Bay) and we paddled towards the bypass bridge. We collected a lot of plastic; lots of plastic bags, pallet wrap, huge sheets of plastic and the usual polystyrene cups, plastic water bottles, etc.
Chis is not pictured because he took a different route when he saw me take out my camera. He found some unusual items and made multiple trips to offload all the trash he collected, which may be why he is an award winning river cleaner.
It was a really nice day to be on the river. The sun was shining, the temperature was near perfect, and the winds were calm. If I hadn’t had other plans, I might have stayed on the river for most of the afternoon.
I’m sure there are a lot of people who think picking up trash is more like work than fun, but it can be more fun than work; especially when you go out with a group of friendly volunteers. You get to paddle and enjoy the water, but you’ve also got a mission and you return with a sense of accomplishment.
There is always something to see, and often we find interesting junk. The most important thing, of course, is that we’re doing our part to remove harmful trash from our precious waterways.
Please consider joining us for a paddle/cleanup. We need all the help we can get, and it’s a great way to spend some of your free time.