I’m a lot better with trash than I am with writing, but it is time to update you on the Potomac River Shoreline clean up at Caledon Natural Area. The last time I wrote was May 21st so over two months have passed.
Today was a really good day in the sense that there was very little to remove. Between the tide, the weather, and the wind the shoreline was very clean, naturally. This will not last long and soon the trash will return with a few cycles of the tide.
There are three areas of the shoreline that I have not yet accessed. These are upriver from Caledon Marsh, the downriver end of Jones pond, and about 0.2 mile stretch between The Cliffs and Stuart’s Wharf.
I have been keeping a tally of the types and amounts of trash removed. There have been so many balls recovered that I have taken to counting them every time I work and measuring the success of any given day in terms of the number of balls recovered. I typically give my supervisor a report like, “This is a thirteen ball day!” The best day ever was 46 balls and that day was particularly good because one of those balls was a Bowling Ball. I’ve had thirty three and thirty nine ball days, too. It takes at least 15 balls to be considered a really good day. An average day is nine balls. Almost every kind of ball you can imagine shows up, but tennis balls seem to be the most frequent. There have been footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs, softballs, golf balls, and of course, tennis balls. The grand total of all balls recovered is 297 since work started in the spring.
Other items have added up over the time, too. Twenty three crab pots have washed ashore and been removed as have twenty seven tires all mounted on wheels.
The general trash consisting of bottles, food containers, and assorted plastic items has accumulated in the amount of eighty seven large trash bags. This cleanup has been so productive we are running low on bags and will have to slow this operation down until supplies can be replenished. It’s somewhat hard to believe that nearly a ton of assorted plastic has been removed.
I will keep putting on the sun screen, and challenging the river to give up the trash.