Hundreds of volunteers came out last Saturday to help with the third Annual Occoquan River Cleanup, which joined with the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s 24th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup to clear the water and banks of trash.
Kelly Jimenez with the Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition estimated that there were 135 volunteers with their group alone and they gathered 7,350 pounds –over three and a half tons– of trash. Friends of the Occoquan had their own volunteers scouring the river for trash and teams launched from the Fairfax County side of the river as well.
Teams started from various launch points up and down the river, on foot or in kayaks and canoes, and covered over 20 miles of the river.
Jimenez said the top brand names they collected were Deer Park Water bottles, Nestea Ice Tea bottles, and Gatorade bottles. Her team also removed 82 tires, a mattress, a small ruined sail boat, a five-gallon bucket of tile adhesive, a swimming pool, a rolling suitcase, and seven car batteries.
Connie Moser with said her group’s most interesting finds included one-quarter of a spa (the other three-quarters were missing) and part of a picnic table.
The following organizations were also involved in the cleanup: Prince William County Park Authority, Public Works, Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District, Occoquan Watertrail League, Keep Prince William Beautiful, Dale City Civic Association, Recreational Equipment, Inc., Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, Mason Neck State Park, Lake Jackson VFD, Lake Ridge OWL VFD, and several bordering Homeowners Associations.