This summer we have uncovered over 25 sites with trash too large to be floated out on our canoes in the three rivers we cleaned (Hughes, Rapidan and Robinson Rivers). We are going to need to hire contractors with heavy equipment to remove these items. This additional expense was not included in our budget. Our Sweepers did a great job this summer and they really don’t like leaving anything behind.
Please consider a donation to fund the removal of these large items – culverts, extra heavy tires, diesel storage tank, dangerous metal objects and more. We estimate the total cost to remove these items to be $20,000 with $10,000 of this amount provided through pro-bono (match) services by our contractors.
You can make a general donation, or you can “Adopt” a specific site by clicking and donating from that image or by using the secure donation link below. Some of this stuff has been in our rivers for decades, rusting, and leaking oil and other substances. It’s time to get it out. Thanks for making our rivers safe for our friends, family members, visitors, and of course wildlife.
Last week, the Orange County Review covered StreamSweeper’s 2016 season and the continued dumping into our rivers. The article focused on dumping of tires and household junk (mattresses, dresser, television, etc.) since the river was cleaned just 2 years ago. The article also highlighted the remaining trash sites too large to be floated out with canoes. To learn more about our efforts to remove these large trash sites, click here.
Our fleet has expanded by one boat, thanks to the generosity of Joe Pipik. Soon this newly donated boat will have the StreamSweeper logo stenciled on it along with it’s name “Cuyahoga”, in honor of Joe and the river he’s spent time canoeing on. Many thanks Joe, we will put this boat to good use and think of you as we go about our work!
We have a great crew this summer. After spending a very long week learning all the science (social and physical) behind the StreamSweepers program, caring for each in other in mock first aid scenarios during Wilderness First Aid training, and learning how to identify macro invertebrates, invasive plant species and dangerous river hazards they began work on the Hughes River. The first time river health assessment and cleaning of this beautiful river has been completed from Route 231 to Reva Road.
We opted to float as much of the river as possible before the mid-summer low water level set in so we began mid-river. We spent a few days dragging boats and walking with some intermittent floating and were encouraged by the support of riverside landowners and the beauty and solitude of the Hughes. We found about a dozen tires, tents, tarps, a cattle feed trough, a table top, some bottles and cans, metal signs, buckets, shopping basket, barbecue grate, floats, tarps, tent, chair, large plastic tub, a hose and other small items. Boaters should be alerted to the car embedded in the bank as it protrudes into the stream channel.
We will begin next Monday to assess and clean the upper stretch beginning just outside the park boundary. We will be alongside the road at several locations and invite you to stop by and say hello. When we’ve completed the assessment and cleanup on the Hughes we will move to the Robinson headwaters to provide a first time assessment down to Route 231.
For the past few weeks after finishing the lower portion of the Hughes we’ve been working on maintenance cleaning of the Rapidan and Robinson Rivers. We’re basically removing anything we may have previously missed and anything new that has appeared.
Enjoy some photos from the Hughes (any ideas whose paw print that is)?
2016 StreamSweepers Meet with Staff of Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in DC
The 2016 crew had a great opportunity last month to visit with Senator Mark Warner and his staff as well as the staff of Senator Tim Kaine. The Senators’ staff offered several ideas on how we can expand services throughout Virginia and into the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. They are in agreement that there needs to be a public-private partnership to restore Virginia’s rivers and we look forward to working with them to increase the capacity of StreamSweepers to reach beyond the Piedmont. It was a great day to be a StreamSweeper!
Maria Pace graciously designed this amazing artwork on behalf of StreamSweepers for the 2016 season. During the ecological assessment phase of their work, StreamSweepers count the River Chub Minnow nests they find in the riverbed (check out this video of chub making a nest).
Maria’s “minnows” are just a glimmer of the nature inspired art she creates daily. It’s wonderful to walk past her storefront when one can’t be out enjoying nature as Maria brings nature to us through her work. Her designs are printed on everything from dish towels to wall paper and nightgowns. To see more of Maria’s work you can look at her website, but better yet, stop by her store and you’ll get to meet a wonderful person. Thanks Maria!
StreamSweepers 2016 note cards and t-shirts are available for purchase by calling our office at (540) 672-2542. They will be available at the Picnic this Sunday, May 22nd. Supporters who donate $100 will receive a set of note cards and those who donate $250 will receive a t-shirt.
Join us for a picnic lunch in the Restored Barn at Rounton Farm on Sunday May 22nd from Noon – 2 pm. Meet your fellow riverside landowners and join the conversation on floodplain restoration options for properties of any size. Learn about our new endeavors, including a partnership with Virginia Working Landscapes of the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute .
Lunch catered by Elmwood at Sparks and music provided by Scuffletown. Please register by May 10th by calling Debbie at (540) 672-2542 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also purchase tickets below on our secure service ($20 each).
Since 2013, StreamSweepers has assessed and cleaned the entire Rapidan and most of the Robinson River. We’ve developed first-hand knowledge of what the greatest prospects are for increasing the health of these rivers and we look forward to sharing this information with you. See you on the 22nd! Register Now