Category Archives: river cleanup

Young Volunteers in Malaysia

ID-100212556Image courtesy of think4photop at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

by Robert Barossi

There have been some great international stories lately, showcasing the kind of work being done by volunteers around the world. Two previous posts featured United Arab Emirates and Great Britain, and today a story out of Malaysia. This one is notable for a number of reasons, first and perhaps foremost is the fact that the volunteers are young, from primary schools, high schools and colleges. Getting people involved in environmental volunteering at this age is essential. They are the volunteers of tomorrow. It’s also worth noting the kind of work being done here. It’s exactly the same kind of litter and pollution cleanup that goes on in and along rivers in every corner of the globe. It again demonstrates how similar we all are, whether its our impact on our local environment or our ability to protect it.

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Volunteers Clean Big Muddy

IMG_0289(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Yesterday’s story focused on how environmental volunteers are impacting modern public transit systems and their use. Today, a story about how volunteers are impacting a river that has been a route of transportation and a center of life and culture for thousands of years: the Missouri River. Affectionately known as “Big Muddy,” the Missouri begins its journey in western Montana and runs for more than two thousand miles until it meets up with the Mississippi in St. Louis. Along the way, it directly impacts the lives of millions of people and wildlife who live along its banks and depend on it for their lives and livelihoods. And all along those banks, pollution is a serious problem, one which often includes volunteers in the solution. Just one example is this story out of Ohama, about 140 volunteers who came together for an annual river cleanup. The group collected about ten tons of trash, according to the article, and found a wide variety of items, from mud-filled television sets to bottles of deer urine. It’s just one of many efforts happening in many places where people are trying to maintain the health of the majestic and mighty Missouri.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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Volunteers and a Chain of Lakes

Underwater Leaves(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

The previous post was a story about a small city and how its residents are trying to maintain green space in their area. Today, a story about keeping nature green in another metropolitan area, this time one of the largest in the country. Near Chicago, just to the northwest, the Chain of Lakes is a series of fifteen interconnected lakes, primarily connected by the Fox River. As this story out of that city describes, environmental volunteers took part in a major cleanup effort, aimed at cleaning and greening the entire waterway. The Fox River Chain O’ Lakes Waterway Cleanup included volunteers working at a number of different locations around the lakes, filling numerous large dumpsters with trash and pulling out of the water everything from hypodermic needles to a kitchen stove. The effort was led by the Fox Waterway Agency, now in its fourteenth year of hosting the annual event.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, check out my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet

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Volunteers Protect a Scottish River

ID-100581(Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

I will freely admit that Scotland is one of my favorite places on the planet. When I spent a month living there during college, during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I quickly fell in love with the city of Edinburgh, the country of Scotland and pretty much everything about it. While it was only one day, we did have an opportunity to visit the Highlands, still one of the most beautiful natural landscapes I have ever seen. This morning, I came across this great story out of Galloway, highlighting the efforts of a number of volunteers to preserve and protect the River Cree. a local organization, the River Cree Hatchery and Habitat Trust, has been leading this effort, which the article says has “rejuvenated” the river.  The Trust praises their volunteers, young and old, who have participated in a number of important initiatives, from removing fallen trees to building fences to protect the river’s banks to a number of projects which will assist the fish along their migration routes.

 

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, check out my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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No Drought for Volunteers

P1000133(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Cleaning up waterways is one of the most important and most frequent tasks performed by environmental volunteers. Wherever there’s a lake, river, pond or shoreline, there is likely going to be trash and debris strewn about. And it’s often volunteers who pick up all that stuff, often working with a local environmental organization that plans and executes cleanup efforts. This story out of California deals with a river cleanup but has a bit of a unique twist. Because of the severe, prolonged drought in that state, some rivers have dried up to the point where there is very little to no water left. This has given volunteers, like the ones in this story, the opportunity to get to the bottom of the river, to places they wouldn’t be able to reach if it was filled with water. Led by the organization known as Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration, these volunteers cleared out “five boats, two pickup trucks, two cars, an outboard motor, more than 1,000 tires and tons of trash.” As the article also points out, perhaps this is one small silver lining to be found in the drought. If these rivers ever get back to their full volume again, they will be a lot cleaner and have a lot less debris, thanks in part to the work of volunteers.

If you have enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, check out my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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Volunteers are Cleaning Up

IMG_0685(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Whenever searching for volunteer stories around the internet, there’s never a lack of cleanup stories. Volunteers are constantly proving their dedication, passion and enthusiasm for the local environment by cleaning up rivers, lakes, ponds, beaches and ocean shores. Three recent stories include: Volunteers wade into water and pull muddy bicycles out of rivers in Idaho. All the way across the country, in New Jersey, they work to clean up a beach and plant dune grass at an annual event. Finally, up north in Michigan, shopping carts are just some of the items pulled out of Grand River by 120 volunteers.

All of these volunteers, and the hundreds more like them all over the world, deserve our appreciation and thanks. Their tireless efforts go a long way towards protecting waterways everywhere. Environmental organizations involved in the above efforts include Portneuf Watershed Partnership in Idaho, the Sea Isle City Environmental Commission in New Jersey, and the Grand River Environmental Action Team in Michigan.

Volunteers Who Never Tire

IMG_1101(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

I don’t usually post stories about upcoming volunteer events (although maybe I should start doing more of that). This one struck me for a couple of reasons. First, it takes place along the James River in Virginia. Having spent a year living in southern Virginia (although not on the James itself) it is one of my favorite places in the U.S. Secondly, while there are many river cleanups that occur all across the country and around the world, throughout the year, this one is unique in that it focuses on just one thing: Tires. Finally, I was also struck by the fact that a  number of organizations are involved and there’s also a major corporation, Bridgestone involved. They will be hauling away and recycling all the retrieved tires.

Groups involved include James River Association, Virginia Canals and Navigation Society and Heart of Viginia Council Boy Scouts of America.