StreamSweepers is a Job Corps Program providing river cleaning and assessment services.
Where did this idea come from?
Stream Sweepers was hatched after a group of Orange residents got together to discuss garbage they had seen while fishing in the rivers and streams of the Rapidan watershed. They quickly realized a vision that their community could hire and train a small group of young adults to screen the health of a river stretch of 10 miles or more using canoes and jonboats as well as remove all of the garbage. This concept encompassed the need for meaningful young adult career training and summer jobs along with riverside natural resource restoration!
Why is this necessary?
Government agencies in Virginia do not have a program to remove man-made trash from rivers and streams.
Don’t volunteers do this?
In some areas, volunteers occasionally clean trash from rivers and streams. However, volunteers do not generally provide a watershed-wide and on-going service nor do they provide riparian assessments of river valley health.
Why not leave the trash in the river?
Many of the these man-made items slowly leach toxic compounds. They are unsightly and in some cases pose danger for those that use a river for fishing, boating, birdwatching, and other recreation.
Who pays for this service?
StreamSweepers is funded by private grants and foundations and in the past through the generosity of riverside landowners wanting to improve the beauty and value of their riverside property frontage. Current funders include Dominion Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, and The Richard and Leslie Gilliam Foundation, among many others.StreamSweepers Program 2018