2013 River Clean-Up Report
1st Annual Upper Shuswap River Clean-Up Day Report
There was a modest, yet enthusiastic turnout for the Oct 20th River Clean-Up day. We paddled roughly a third of the Middle Shuswap, ending at Wilsey Dam on Mabel Lake Road.
For those of you who missed it, here are the quick stats for you to get a picture of our day:
- Total number of participants: 7
- Total number of boats: 2
- Number of un-born participants: 1
- Number of participants under 5 years old: 3
- Number of questions asked by the 4-year old: countless
- Number of full XXL garbage bags of trash collected: 3
- Number of punctured inflatable rafts hauled out of log-jams: 5
- Number of climbing harnesses found in the river: 1
- Number of times someone exclaimed, “Wow! I found a good pair of men’s underwear!”: 1
- Dollars in deposit money collected from beer cans and bottles: $3.15
- Number of times the ‘back-ferry’ manoeuvre was used to recover a piece of trash: 14
- Number of lawn-chairs hauled out of the river: 1
- Number of lawn-chairs next spring’s flood will likely collect from below the high-water line: 9
- Number bell-shaped polypore mushrooms dangling from birch logs: countless
- Number of does walking into our lunch spot: 1
- Number of mergansers darting across the water: 6
- Number of participants that went for an unintentional swim: 0 (whew)
- Number of kingfishers chattering at us: 3
- Number of bald eagles watching us from a dead cottonwood: 1
- Number of seconds to decide NOT to run the ‘chute’: 3.5
- Number of beaver dens dug into the river bank at the take-out: 8
- Number of moments spent thinking, “This is a FANTASTIC way to spend a sunny autumn day!”: countless
This was a perfect time of year for this activity, because the low water exposed a lot of junk and allowed us to manoeuvre our boats into tight spots around log-jams that would otherwise be quite dangerous. It also tested our boating skills to recover some of the trash, as most of the garbage wasn’t exactly floating nicely in a big, calm eddy pool!
We also learned a few math lessons while on the river that I’d like to share with you:
- cool plastic beach toys left by river + Δ water level = junk in river
- (1 tarp left outside + wind) x time = bits of tarp in 6 different log jams
- beer + tubing down the river = tube ÷ log jam
- 7 enthusiastic people + 1 afternoon = 1 pristine river corridor!
Our intention is to make this a yearly habit, of putting the river to bed for the winter, getting together local paddlers, and raising awareness for this gem of a river in our back-yard.
Contact us if you want to be on the notification list for next year!
See you next fall,