January 15, 2018
The Washington Kayak Club, Washington Recreational River Runners, and the Paddle Trails Canoe Club are planning the first organized cleanup of the Nisqually River on April 21, 2018, the day before Earth Day 2018. Members of these organizations are working in collaboration with the Nisqually River Council on this event. They heartily invite BHAS members to help with this effort.
The emerging plan focuses on cleaning up two segments of the Nisqually River: McKenna Park to the City Light Yelm Hydro Plant, and Yelm Hydro Plant to the 6th Avenue SE WDFW Water Access Site. Organizers are considering expanding the cleanup through the Refuge if they can recruit sufficient boaters to assist with this effort. In that case, boaters will launch at the 6th Avenue SE WDFW Water Access Site or at Luhr’s Landing and then haul whatever they collect to Luhr’s Landing.
As there are few actual shoreline areas that are open to public access on the Nisqually River, the work of cleanup will be approached from the water. For safety reasons, the organizers are asking various recreational boating clubs to recruit volunteers sufficiently skilled and equipped to safely navigate the river. But just as crucial will be the need for help with event setup, registration and check-in, staffing first aid stations, assisting boaters haul and sort whatever they collect from their boats to drop boxes, and after-event cleanup. Some volunteers may also collect trash at the water access sites. If volunteers with the right skills and tools can be recruited, the group would also like to approach WDFW about removing the graffiti at their 6th Avenue SE WDFW Water Access Site.
Also in support of this effort, LeMay Pacific Disposal has agreed to provide drop boxes and hauling services without charge. Thurston County Public Works will be providing bags and covering the disposal fees at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center through its Litter Control Program.
An online registration system to recruit both boating and nonboating volunteers to help with this event will be posted within a few weeks. A link to this registration site will be posted on the BHAS website and placed in Chapter Chirps when we get further information regarding this upcoming opportunity to help this important work to clean up the Nisqually River. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)