Summer is over. For many that means no more going to the creek to swim, to camp, to canoe, or even just to admire the beauty of what mother nature has blessed us with. The temperature is starting to drop. The leaves are starting to fall. The overgrowth on the shorelines and banks of the water is starting to sneak back into the woods for the winter. These don’t appear to be very good conditions for a day at the creek…But it is exactly what iCleanWaterways has been waiting for since spring.
iCleanWaterways has spent the last two winters on the water trying to return navigable and recreational waterways to their natural trash free beauty. Due to these efforts there has been over 32,000 lbs of solid waste removed from streams in Southwest Missouri. The conditions brought on by late autumn and winter create perfect conditions for trash and other solid waste to easily be spotted and removed from the water and banks; and after a long summer of being packed by people who enjoy the benefits of the waterways, there is plenty of it to pick up.
As the tourism and river traffic ebbs and the waters flow undisturbed on many days, there is a certain beauty, peace, and serenity that most people will never experience. But every weekend during the winter iCleanWaterways is actively removing as much trash from the water as their boats will allow. After disembarking on a clean-up this beauty and serenity is quickly shattered by the aftermath of our human negligence. There isn’t much floating during one of these trips. Just walking(wading), pulling boats from place to place, and picking up nearly every piece of trash trying to ensure that all who decide to travel these waterways for sport, recreation, or pleasure get an unobstructed view of her natural beauty. The preservation and conservation of the waterways in our country is the main concern and duty of iCleanWaterways.
So the big question now comes into play: How do we stop this plague that is simply a cancer that is affecting the veins of our earth? Believe it or not, it is a very simple answer: Pick $#it up. If you are as disgusted as we are by the sight of trash in nearly every view of our beautiful rivers…Pick it up. It isn’t fun. It will not be relaxing. And it is definitely not easy. But our inactivity as partakers of the benefits of these waters is what has allowed these very obstructed views to become common. And the more common this seems the easier it becomes for people to ignore this major issue that we are facing. If you see something and have the time to say something about people who do not pick up their trash…you could have already picked up that item that caused the negative feelings inside of you. If you benefit from our waterways at all, it is not someone else’s litter…It is YOUR responsibility.
Just like a puzzle, is trying to reconnect the shattered beauty that we have been left with…But we can’t do it alone. Off season is now on! Just pick it up!