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.
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 are PARTNERS in this event:
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
The following series of photos gives you an idea of the effort that it takes to remove some of the trash from our rivers. At the heads of islands in these rivers you will often find a bulwark of downed trees that look alot like a large pile of “pixie sticks”. They catch all kinds of things! Our crew was DETERMINED not to leave this very large piece of trash that was entrenched in one such pile of trees. There are some videos too…showing the sheer joy of our group once the item has been removed…enough said.
Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) and Virginia Outdoor Center (VOC)
We’re excited to be working on the Rappahannock River this year and appreciate all the hard work that Friends of the Rappahannock and the Virginia Outdoor Center have done over the years to care for this river. We hope that our efforts to assess and clean the river will expand upon their good work!
After StreamSweepers spent a day on the Rapidan River, it was time to move on over to the Rappahannock. So who you gonna call? — Friends of the Rappahannock! We had great instruction from Bryan Hoffman and Adam Lynch which made all the difference in readying our staff for their task on the Rappahannock this summer.
Thanks also to FOR’s Woodie Walker and Kathleen Harrigan who have been incredibly supportive of our efforts.
Four years ago StreamSweepers was graciously loaned some boats by VOC for our program and they are still out there floating today! Many thanks to Bill Micks and the entire staff at VOC.
Many thanks to the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation for supporting StreamSweepers! We needed a vehicle and a trailer to transport our Sweepers and pull our canoes. We found a great deal on a used Four Runner and trailer and were able to make the purchase thanks to them.
They also helped us move into the realm of volunteer cleanups. Over the next year we will be hosting cleanups led by volunteer groups in Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock counties to clean the smaller tributaries before the trash reaches the Rappahannock. The picture below is of the Highland School crew who cleaned along the White’s Mill Trail and Cedar Run near Warrenton. If your organization is interested in hosting a cleanup, please contact StreamSweepers Program Manager, Debbie Manzari.
Thanks Northern Piedmont Community Foundation from all of us here!
Our season has begun! We are going to take some time over the next few weeks to thank the MANY good folks who have helped get this project rolling and to introduce you to the wonderful staff and the work they are doing. Stay tuned!