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In The News…

Pit River Clean-up Hauls in a Ton

September, 2003
Modoc County Record

By Paula Fields

Were you looking for that pink baby slipper, that missing jigsaw puzzle piece, or Troy's homework? Well, we found all that and much more at the second annual Pit River Clean Up Day, held last Saturday.

About 40 folks showed up at the River Center and then headed off along the Pit River. Because we had cleaned this stretch last year, there wasn't a lot of work to do, but as we neared Centerville Road, we had our hands full. Although this area isn't directly connected to the river, with our famous Modoc winds, anything littered on the highway is bound to end up in a waterway sooner or later.

In an hour and a half we had filled the entire back of the flatbed truck that the Modoc Wildlife Refuge Manager, Steve Clay had provided us. Tom Mocilac from CHP helped with traffic control, and then pulling out his truck scales when it was all over. Would you believe close to a ton of garbage?

Our Pit River Clean Up Day is held in conjunction with the California Coastal Commission's Coastal Clean Up Day. This year, over 42,000 people worked at about 650 sites throughout the state. This effort, in turn, is part of the International Ocean Conservancy's research activities. In addition to collecting all the garbage, we tallied certain categories to gather data to try and tackle the problem of waste in our waterways. As an example of how this data is used, when plastic bags kept turning up as a major pollution, pressure was put on manufacturers, who then started making bags out of biodegradable cornstarch.

The turnout was great this year. Special thanks to the Modoc County Office of Education for publicizing the event and to teachers who explained the project to their students, and even offered extra credit, Julie McDonell, Amy Crlenjac and Linda LeNeave brought a large contingent from the Modoc High Natural Resources Academy.

Next year will be Coastal Cleanup's 20th Anniversary, and we're hoping to celebrate here in Modoc County by expanding the number of sites we clean. If you would like to be a site captain next year, or have a good idea of a waterway with public access for us to clean, call Bev McNeilly at (530) 233-4512.