A stream cleanup involves volunteers walking along a stream or paddling a stream channel, collecting trash and gathering information. Information gathered can include types and quantities of trash, debris too large to move, and problems encountered.
On Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. (rain date April 29, 2017), Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition (PWTSC), a 501(c)3 organization, is conducting its 8th annual clean-up of the upper Occoquan River, from nine different sites along 25+ miles of the Occoquan River. The clean-up ranges from Cedar Run/Broad Run, through Lake Jackson, and from the base of Lake Jackson Dam to Hooes Run (south of Lake Ridge Marina). This cleanup is part of the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s (www.fergusonfoundation.org) Potomac River Watershed Cleanup.
PWTSC is partnering with the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District, Prince William County Parks, Recreation, Prince William County Public Works, and a number of home owners associations, civic associations, businesses, and volunteer groups to accomplish this major 25+-mile river clean-up. During last year’s clean-up, 156 volunteers pulled 204 bags and 25 tires out of the Occoquan River and this year we hope to get more help to remove even more!
PWTSC needs experienced kayakers, canoeists, jon boaters, and pontoon boaters to sign up for this major on-the-water conservation effort. Some kayaks and canoes will be available for loan provided by Penguin Paddling (at Hooes Run) and the Prince William County Parks and Recreation Department (at Lake Ridge Marina). Please visit www.pwtsc.org for more information and to register for this event or contact Ed Dandar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-791-6158.
– clean at least once a year for a two year commitment.
Lead or be part of a one time cleanup (contact email@example.com about this option).
If you have any questions about these 4 options or would like help choosing the option that would be best for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org about this option, Adopt-A-Stream Coordinator.
What is Adopt-A-Stream?
There are about 1,100 miles of streams in Prince William County. In the Adopt-A-Stream program, volunteers agree to pick up litter along their adopted stream segment of at least ¼ mile, once (preferably twice) a year for a minimum two year commitment.
We, at Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District (PWSWCD), promote and help administer the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) program.
When you register an event for an AAS cleanup you can order all of the gloves, trash bags, and vests you need for that cleanup. The supplies will be sent directly to you.
After completing at least one cleanup, your AAS group will receive a metal “Adopt-A-Stream” sign (as shown above, with the group’s name and stream name ) from DCR that will be erected at the stream site. Contact PWSWCD for instructions on erecting the sign.
Who Can Adopt a Stream?
Scout Troops, 4-H clubs, ecology clubs, schools or school clubs, families, individuals, businesses, church groups, sports teams, home-school groups, or other organizations can adopt a stream. Students can use the time toward community service hours. Businesses are strongly urged to join the AAS program and receive recognition for their stewardship of the environment. Your group or organization can help preserve, protect and revitalize community streams. The AAS program benefits our local Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. It is easy, fun, and a great team-building experience for all ages. Join us and you will really make a difference!
For information or to schedule a speaker for your group about the AAS program call 571.379.7514 or email@example.com.
How Do I Get Started?
Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District can help individuals or groups find a stream (see map below) or you can select a stream on your property.
Established Group - Click here Established Group Procedures if your group is already signed up under AAS.
Starting your own group - Click here to Start a New Group.
2. Potomac River Watershed Cleanup (April)
(Alice Ferguson Foundation)
Potomac River Watershed Cleanup
In 2015, 23,898 volunteers
at 805 sites
removed 1,203,543 pounds of trash
from the Potomac River Watershed.
The 2015 cleanup took place in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – all part of the lands, or watershed, that drain into the Potomac River. Locations included fields, forests, parking lots and other ‘inland’ sites, where the trash can be removed before it enters creeks and other waterways.
The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has become a decisive catalyst for progress that ignites people throughout the watershed with the Alice Ferguson Foundation's community spirit. The largest regional event of its kind, the Cleanup provides a transforming experience that engages citizens and community leaders and generates momentum for change.
How do I participate?
- If you would like to be a Site Leader and host your own stream cleanup:
- A. Choose an available stream to clean (Stream Cleanup Site Map). You may clean a stream on your property or on public property. Please contact the PWSWCD AAS Coordinator to double check if the stream is still available.
- B. After you have completed step A, click here to register on the Alice Ferguson Foundation website.
- C. If you would like to borrow litter grabbers or arrange to have your stream cleanup trash picked up and weighed by the county, please contact the AAS Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 AFF TRASH DATA:
- If you would like to volunteer to help clean a stream at an already established site click here (the Alice Ferguson website).
13,214 cigarette butts
17,594 plastic bags
251,100 beverage containers
3. International Coastal Cleanup (September-October)
(Clean VA Waterways)
Every September 1 to October 31, volunteers across Virginia from the mountains to the oceans gather along the shorelines of rivers, lakes, ponds and bays to pick up trash as part of the Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW) Cleanup Day (part of the International Coastal Cleanup). They also complete "International Coastal Cleanup Data Cards" from the Ocean Conservancy, helping to collect valuable information about the amounts, types and sources of debris found along Virginia's waterways. CVW's cleanup events educate the public on issues of freshwater and marine pollution, especially the preventable problem of litter.
Note: The official date for the International Coastal Cleanup is the third Saturday in September. Here in Virginia, cleanup coordinators can select any date in September or October that best fits their schedule.
The International Coastal Cleanup is active in most states, and in 100 countries. As volunteers in Virginia are bagging trash and filling out data cards, more than 350,000 people worldwide are doing the same! Ocean Conservancy
compiles the data received from sites around the world, and prepares a summary report to be used by citizens and policy makers in evaluating our progress in dealing with this serious form of pollution. The International Coastal Cleanup is the world's largest volunteer data collection effort devoted to the marine environment.
If you register a cleanup site with CVW, they will provide you with trash bags, gloves, data cards, and possibly some freebies, for all of your volunteers. In addition, they usually send the site captain a free tee-shirt.
How do I participate?
- If you would like to be a Site Captain and organize your own stream cleanup site:
- A. Choose a stream to clean (Stream Cleanup Site Map). You may clean a stream on your property or on public property. Please contact the PWSWCD AAS Coordinator email@example.com to double check if the stream is still available.
- B. After you have completed step A, register on the Clean VA Waterways website.
- C. If you would like to borrow litter grabbers or arrange to have your stream cleanup trash picked up and weighed by the county, please contact AAS Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Ten Litter Items from Virginia Waterways Cleanups
- If you would like to volunteer at a local "Clean Virginia Waterways" site and be part of the International Coastal Cleanup (Clean VA Waterways website).
1. beverage bottles (plastic, 2 liters or less)
2. cigarettes/cigarette filters
3. bags (plastic)
4. food wrappers/containers
5. cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons
6. beverage cans
7. glass beverage bottles
8. caps, lids
9. building materials
Stream Cleanup Site Map
Adopted Streams ---------------- Green Icon
Left Click on icon for more site information
||Spring Cleanups net tons of trash!
Stream Cleanups are a Huge Success!
In 2015 895 volunteers cleaned 71.85 miles of streams and picked up 26,906 pounds of trash!
A big THANK YOU to all of the groups that cleaned streams and helped to improve water quality in Prince William County! We really appreciate your efforts!
To learn what you can do right
now to improve water quality in your local waterways to the
Chesapeake Bay you may join one of our Stream Cleanup Programs
E-mail AAS Coordinator at email@example.com, or
for more ideas.
Most unusual items found in streams in Prince William County 2015:
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- 207 tires
- broken canoe
- milking machine inflation tube
- tractor tire tube
- fire extinguisher