PTRF set for another sweep

Published 1:13 pm Friday, April 5, 2013

Rain or shine, heat or cold, every year dedicated volunteers have stepped up to keep help our waterways beautiful at the Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge.

This Saturday, communities from up and down the Pamlico-Tar river will scour water and shore, tackling trash from Franklin to Beaufort counties. The goal is to collect as much trash as possible and collect the Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup trophy to display in your town hall for the entire year.

Franklin County has won the trophy for two years running.

But organizers would say that everyone’s a winner when 3 1/2 tons of garbage is removed from in and around the water. That’s what the event netted last year, even on a cold and dreary day.

“Healthy communities begin with healthy rivers,” said Heather Jacobs Deck, Pamlico-Tar River Foundation riverkeeper. “I hope folks will think about giving just a few hours of their day to help clean up their community.”

Since 2006, PTRF’s sponsored semi-annual cleanups have divested the river of more than 35,000 pounds of trash. This year, volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at three locations: the boat ramp of Havens Gardens in Washington, Tranters Creek boat ramp off of Clarks Neck Road and the Pamlico Plantation boat ramp.

According to Deck, those turning out for the cleanup should wear clothes they don’t mind getting wet or muddy and, if they plan to do trash pickup from the river, should bring their own life vests and boats (limited kayaks may be available upon request). Another option is to walk the shoreline searching for debris that will, eventually, wind up in the river if not caught.

All trash bags and drinking water will be provided, as will trash retrieval: Washington’s Public Works Department picks up and disposes of the waterlogged piles.

Deck said the forecast for Saturday — a Spring has sprung, 64 degrees and sunny — should be enough to get people out to enjoy (and do their part to spruce up) nature.