Regarding the Dec. 28 Thumbs Up article “Students learn about their watersheds”: This is a small but important step in sensitizing residents about better stewardship of our waterways. Every rainfall flushes trash from the landscape, and the problem will worsen with our population growth, having just surpassed 10 million.
The huge, ugly trash load that appeared at Jordan Lake after the recent heavy rain is case in point. It gets there from roadsides, illegal dumps and parks and playgrounds as far away as Greensboro and Hillsborough. It destroys wildlife habitats and the natural beauty of the shoreline. And it’s alarming when seeing this mess to think of the lake as a public water supply for 300,000 people!
The DOT Adopt-A-Highway Program and work details by the incarcerated are totally inadequate to keep up with roadside trash. Even less is being done by government agencies to remove trash on waterways. This falls largely to grassroots nonprofit groups like Clean Jordan Lake.
Since 2009, 4,100 volunteers for Clean Jordan Lake have filled 11,000 bags, weighing about 110 tons, and hauled away an astounding 3,800 tires, many still on rims. The value of their work now stands at $550,000.
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Unfortunately, every new rainfall brings them back to clean the same areas. We urge governments to promote trash prevention far more forcefully.
President, Clean Jordan Lake