Rebecca Dodd is hoping to get a good response for the Rainy River First Nation Watershed Program’s annual “Adopt-A-River.”
“Basically, this program was designed to promote awareness and involvement of different groups in the maintenance of our watershed,” Dodd said Monday.
“Surprisingly, there is a great deal of waste that is deposited in the water.
“In order to preserve fish habitats, we will not be collecting any wood that is in the water,” she noted. “Instead, we will focus on waste that has been generated from humans, such as old tires and paper products.”
Local businesses, government, and community organizations, as well as individuals, can adopt a section along Rainy River or one of its tributaries, and choose the date they would like to start.
“Once people have picked where they would like to do their cleanup, they will then walk along the river edge collecting any waste they may come across,” Dodd noted.
“With water levels having dropped, this is really the best time to get started,” she added. “Much of the garbage that goes into the river sinks so with the water level lower, we will be able to get to much of that waste.”
With a good turnout last year, Dodd is hopeful to see the same number, and possibly even more, volunteering their time this year.
“Last year, we had set as our minimum at five groups and we ended up getting eight groups of people out there,” she said. “Though I have not had a huge response from people so far, I have been making a few phone calls and everyone has been very interested.
“Last year, we did a cleanup along the shoreline of the reserve and it was amazing how much garbage we ended up picking up,” Dodd continued. “In the end, I believe we had about two truckloads of garbage that was collected.
“In the case of the reserve, much of the garbage had been dropped up river and then flowed down river to eventually rest along the shorelines of many townships.
“And though those townships are not necessarily the ones who made the garbage, it ends up becoming an eyesore for them.”
With a barbecue planned for all of this year’s participants, Dodd is inviting interested parties to get involved in this important cleanup project.
“This type of program is important because everyone has a responsibility to preserve our watershed,” she stressed.
“When people get out there and start cleaning up the shoreline, I think people will be surprised with how much better their township will look, and hopefully that will inspire some of them to do the same.”
For more information on this year’s “Adopt-A-River” program or to volunteer, contact Dodd at 482-2479 ext. 237.