StreamSweepers will be hiring Program Managers, On-water Managers, and Sweeping Staff next year. Our new Shenandoah Valley Satellite Office will need a Middle River Comprehensive Cleanup Program Manager, On-water Manager, and Sweeping Staff. The Clinch River Satellite Office will need an On-water Manager and Sweepers. The Middle River crew will be working in the vicinity of Verona and the Clinch River crew will be working in the vicinity of St. Paul. We will post more information about these positions in early 2019.
After 2 years of assessment of the Clinch River (St. Paul, VA) and nearly a year of river cleanup concept discussions with the Friends of the Middle River (Staunton, VA), StreamSweepers has the green light to proceed with comprehensive cleanup in Partnership with a host of area conservation and social organizations and agencies. Fundraising and short range planning for our Clinch and Shenandoah Rivers Cleanup Campaigns is now underway. The Clinch River program will take several years and will be the largest industrial river cleanup in our history and comes on the heels of completion of our Rappahannock Rivers Cleanup Campaign (2012-2018) this year. If you would like to help, please contact the Center at 540-7672-2542. And, if you would like to donate to these efforts, please find our 2019 Campaign button on our website.
StreamSweepers is partnering with Central Virginia social services organizations and equipment contractors to help suburban and rural landowners clean up their properties from flood damage. The program will train and employ local young adults (age 18 and above) in flood related disaster relief to remove flood debris in flood damaged properties along rivers and streams. Depending on the scale of the cleanup, Sweepers will be paired with local equipment contractors to help remove debris. For some types of cleanup, payments may be a tax deductable contribution.
Sweepers that cleaned the Rappahannock and Mattaponi Rivers this summer will be on call to continue their work as flood relief staff in the coming weeks. StreamSweepers also is looking for more staff to train and hire from the counties of Orange, Louisa, Fluvanna, Spotsylvania, Albemarle, Greene, Madison, Culpeper, Fauquier, and Rappahannock. Landowners interested in assistance should contact Lisa Dornon or Michael Collins at 540-672-2542 to schedule immediate assistance in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Young adults from Central Virginia should also contact us to get a job you will never forget.
The weather is cooperating and we have moved over to the Mattaponi River in Caroline County. Assessments are nearly complete and trash removed from a four mile section has already been delivered to the collection site. The crew is patiently moving along the river in a section below the Milford DGIF boat launch which is littered with downed trees. We appreciate the assistance we’ve received from local government, Luck Stone and landowners who provided us with information and access. Look for another update early next week!
As we near completion of the assessment and trash inventory phase of the project we are astonished at the amount of trash in the Clinch River near the Swords Creek area. According to Project Manager, Maddie Gordon, “there are thousands of tires and other trash in less than a 6 mile stretch.”
The Clinch River cleanup will be much different than any previous clean up effort StreamSweepers has completed. We will need additional partners and new protocols to move this project into an industrial scale cleanup. While we know this will require a tremendous amount of effort and we believe it is both possible and necessary! The photos speak for themselves.
After the classroom portion of our training week, we waited a few days for the Rappahannock to recede after it’s first flood event this summer for our on-water training provided by Nick Wolfe of Friends of the Rappahannock and the Virginia Outdoor Center. The river was just at it’s “floatable” limit so needless to say we got in some good training time.
Below are a few photos of the week leading up to our on-water training day and they include Wilderness First Aid by MEDIC Matt Rosesfsky of SOLOWFA and Invasive Species Identification by Ruth Douglas and MaryLee, affiliated with the Blue Ridge Prism and the VA Native Plant Society.
We’re grateful to all those that help train our crew every year!
It was a resounding success, and over the course of the four-hour event, 135 vehicles visited and dropped off more than 1330 tires. These tires will be disposed of responsibly, with as many being recycled as possible. Potential future uses include road surface material, arena footing material, and tire derived fuel for industrial boilers, among other possibilities.
The backing of the local community made the event a success, and we especially appreciate the partners and sponsors whose financial support made the event possible. These include partners: Orange/Gordonsville Pharmacy, University Tire & Auto, EZ Performance Center, as well as sponsors: American Woodmark, MPS, Virginia Tractor, Clore’s Automotive, Edward Jones-Jeff Earnhardt, Grelen Nursery, Inn at Westwood Farm, Inn at Willow Grove, Jack Samuels Realty, Mason Insurance Agency, Orange Madison COOP, Orange Tire Inc., Pro Collision Center, Purcell Custom Firearms Shop, and The Lightwell/Willow Spring Brewery/Beggars Banquet. The event was also supported by a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality grant.
We would also like to thank the Landfill staff for their gracious logistical support and for hosting the event and the Orange County Litter Control Committee for logistical and financial support.
We appreciate those that volunteered, supported, and attended this event and hope that the collection of these tires will help create a cleaner Orange County. While we hope to hold the event again, the ability to host it is based on sponsorship and grant support, so we advise that residents do not collect tires on their property in anticipation of another amnesty day. The disposal fee at the landfill is just $2.50 per tire (for the first ten), and prompt disposal helps prevent the negative effects of tire collection, such as mosquito breeding.
To help with the growing problem of tire accumulation and improper disposal, the Orange County Landfill, the Orange County Litter Control Committee and StreamSweepers have organized a FREE Tire Recycling Day.
- Orange County residents may dispose up to 12 tires at the Orange County Landfill free of charge on Saturday, June 16, 2018, between 8am and 12 noon.
- Disposal will be on a first come-first served basis and proof of residency may be required.
- Standard car/truck tires (R22.5 size maximum) will be accepted (no commercial or business drop-offs, residential only).
The following businesses SPONSORED this event:
This event is organized by the Orange County Litter Control Committee, the Orange County Landfill and StreamSweepers. For more information contact (540) 661-5323 or see the event site on Facebook.
The Mattaponi River Clean-up Youth Job Training and Employment Program will offer many benefits to Caroline County including stewardship, job training and environmental awareness for the young adults employed. Removal of trash and an inventory report will enhance the Mattaponi as resource for the community and offer additional opportunities to leverage this resource. StreamSweepers will train 5 local age young adults (18 and over) to clean and inventory 13 miles of the Mattaponi River in Caroline County, VA. The stretch to be cleaned begins at the Rt. 607 crossing at Paige and extends to the Rt. 301 crossing. The proposed project is partially funded by Caroline County, and from a grant from the Luck Foundation. For the project to be completed, we will need to raise an additional $15,000. This figure includes the cost of all supervisory personnel, equipment, and liability insurances and Workers Compensation insurance for all employees. Outreach to landowners may begin as early as January 2018 as access from landowners will need to be secured about every mile or two along the river. For more information please contact us by email or by calling our office at (540)-672-2542.
We hope that residents and business owners as well as other foundations will support this project.
The Mattaponi River is a 103-mile-long tributary of the York River estuary and rises as four streams in Spotsylvania County, each of which is given a shorter piece of the Mattaponi’s name. They are the Mat River and the Ta River which join in Spotsylvania County to form the Matta River; the Po River and the Ni River which join in Caroline County to form the Poni River; and the Matta and Poni Rivers which join in Caroline County to form the Mattaponi River.
From the confluence of its tributaries, the Mattaponi flows generally southeast through Caroline County, where it collects the South River at the southern edge of the Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area. In its lower reaches, it defines the boundary between King William and King and Queen counties. At West Point, it meets the Pamunkey River to form the York River.
With little development or industry on the river, the Mattaponi provides a diverse array of scenery and angling opportunity. Beginning as a small, scenic, non-tidal stream draining much of Caroline County and serving as the border between King and Queen and King William counties, the upper Mattaponi has limited public access. Moving downstream from Zoar State Forest towards West Point the river changes character drastically from a small non-tidal stream to a large tidal river lined by vast expanses of marsh. (courtesy VDGIF)
During the summer of 2016 we uncovered more than 25 sites with trash too large to be floated out in our canoes in the three rivers we cleaned; the Hughes, Rapidan and Robinson Rivers. Thanks to the generous support we received many of these items – culverts, extra heavy tires, storage tanks, dangerous metal objects and more have been removed from the river. We are continuing to make contacts with landowners to gain access to the remaining items to be removed with heavy equipment. We appreciate the many landowners who have cooperated with us so far. We couldn’t do this without you!
Some of this stuff has been in our rivers for decades, rusting, and leaking oil and other substances. Thanks to the many wonderful people who have helped make our rivers cleaner and safer to enjoy, especially the Dominion Energy Volunteers from the Orange service office (pictured above) for bringing in the heavy equipment. It sure does make a difference!
Large Trash Sites 2016 – Hughes, Robinson and Rapidan Rivers