2013 River Clean-Up Report

1st Annual Upper Shuswap River Clean-Up Day Report

canoeing with kids

2013 river clean-up day!

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

cleaning the river by way of canoe or kayak

  • 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

taking a break from canoeing on river clean-up day!

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,

2013 River Clean-Up Report - Elements Adventure Company

cleaning up our waterways and rivers