“We will be participating with the American Canoe Association Stream to Sea Intiative to equip paddlers with a destination designed for trash clean-up,” says Stephanie Herrman. “We will document the amount of trash collected and submit to ACA to share with NOAA and EPA. We have targeted Bayou DeLoutre as our cleanup destination and students from D’Arbonne Woods Charter School BETA program along with other adults will be participating in an 8 mile cleanup of Bayou DeLoutre.”
Stephanie also supplied this information: The DeLoutre was named by early French explorers because as they traveled up the DeLoutre from the Ouachita they stated that “the banks were teaming with otters spilling into the water”. The river is no longer teaming, but there is still evidence today of otters along our waterways. Keeping the habitat clean of debris and toxins is a critical part of their survival. The GO GREEN paddle is not only helping clean up a local waterway, but also part of a much larger world view of marine debris.
Of the estimated 6.14 million tons of debris that enter marine environments each year, 80% of it is land based trash that enters from freshwater rivers and streams. Who better to help prevent the accumulation of marine debris than paddlers? The ACA has been implementing an on-going Stream to Sea Initiative that will equip users with the knowledge and tools necessary to clean navigable waterways and paddling environments while recreating. Utilizing the paddling community, one that already has a vested interest in the health of the nation’s waters, is an effective way to help remediate the growing amounts of debris that affect marine environments. Employing paddlers, a virtually untapped resource, in freshwater streams and rivers provides a sustainable network of stewards dedicated to reducing debris accumulation before it reaches coastal environments.
And even if you don’t take part in the GO GREEN effort that Saturday, you can help by NOT LITTERING and discouraging others from LITTERING! And it never hurts to pick up trash you see outdoors no matter what day it is or who put it there. Just consider it helping out the less fortunate — those who are dumb enough to litter in the first place.