Clean the Bay Day to be held Saturday

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Jun 01, 2011 - 03:33 PM

More volunteers are needed to help clean up three waterways in Gloucester County as part of the Clean the Bay Day on Saturday, said environmental program administrator Scott Rae.

Rae said that online registration has been slow and that he hopes a lot more people will decide to offer their help from 9 a.m. to noon. He would like to have 40 volunteers each working on Sarah Creek (staging area York River Yacht Haven) and the Severn River (Severn River Marina) that day, with 20-30 volunteers to work on the Ware River (Ware River Yacht Club).

The April 16 tornado that heavily damaged a number of Gloucester properties might be the source of extra debris in some waterways, especially the Ware River, Rae said.

Individuals and organizations, such as church groups and scouts, are encouraged to participate. Rae said couples and families often turn out for the cleanups.

During past waterway cleanups, volunteers have hauled a lot of debris from the waterways and especially in the tidal marshes, Rae said. There are always lots of containers and old crab pots and fishing line retrieved, Rae said, with a fender from a Volkswagen as one of the more unusual items found.

Last year, volunteers cleared portions of Sarah Creek and the Severn and Perrin rivers, covering 16 miles of shoreline.

The waterways do not lend themselves to walking along the shorelines to pick up trash, Rae said, so he is asking residents to bring their boats, kayaks and canoes so volunteers can readily get to the designated work zones.

Rae said organizers do not plan to use any Gloucester County-owned canoes from Beaverdam Park for the cleanup this year because of liability issues, but Hogchoker Charters, with Captain Eric Thomas, has volunteered use of a boat to ferry people to shorelines for cleaning and also will trail a dinghy to get them to shorelines in case of low tide.

Following the morning cleanup, a pizza lunch will be served at the staging areas. Water and soft drinks will be provided.

Gloucester residents can register for the local event on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website, www.cbf.org/clean. For more information, call Tanner Council of CBF at 757-622-1964 or Rae at 693-1217.