Category Archives: 2016 Season Updates

Orange County Review Publishes Article About River Dumping

2016 StreamSweepers on Robinson River – Zach Ray, Emily Dieckhoff, Taylor Dawson and Austin Garr (left to right)

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.

Return to the Hughes River Next Week

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)?

Whose Paw Print?
Whose Paw Print?
Hughes River Cleanup
Hughes River Crew
Hughes River Solitude
Hughes River Solitude
Hughes River Embedded Car
Hughes River Embedded Car


Capitol Hill Visit

2016 StreamSweepers Meet with Staff of Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in DC
Senator Mark Warner StreamSweepers
Frank Balint (Center for Natural Capital Board Member), Emily Dieckhoff, Senator Mark Warner, Kira Lander, Betty Dixon (Center for Natural Capital Staff), Buzz VanSantvoord (Center for Natural Capital Staff), Taylor Dawson, Conner McGhee, Daniel Squietieri, Spencer Goodwin, Michael Collins (Center for Natural Capital Executive Director), Mac Klackle, Austin Garr, Debbie Manzari (Center for Natural Capital Staff), Brian Becker (Center for Natural Capital Staff) (left to right)

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!