Monday, June 11, 2012

Clean Up Number Three

Over the past months and weeks, West Tennessee has fallen nearly one foot behind in annual rain fall.  A consequence has been very low river levels on the Hatchie and other local streams.  In order to do another stream clean up, the "Friends of the Hatchie" have been holding vigil on the river stage website  On this link, we watch the "Rialto" gage.  A stage of 5.0 feet is considered a safe water level to conduct a group clean up event.  For most of this spring readings have consistently been much too low for a safe group event.

However, a recent storm front came through the Scenic Hatchie River watershed causing a spike on the gage.  This created a very narrow five day opportunity to conduct our third clean up event.  The event, announced on June 5, was held this past Saturday June 9, 2012. 

This very short notice had a negative effect on our participation.  However, our third "Friends of the Hatchie" Scenic River clean up was still a success.  Four participants and two boats collected approximately five hundred pounds of garbage on a seven mile section of the river.  All of the garbage collected has been recycled through the Haywood County recycling program.

In a first for the "Friends of the Hatchie", an award was offered for the most unusual item removed from the river during the clean up.  The two part award consists of a battered duck decoy riddled by steel shot and a one year subscription to the Tennessee Conservationist  magazine  Pictured below, Dr. Tom Barton of Covington, displays a floating chase lounge chair designed for use in swimming pools, recovered from a submerged tree top in the middle of the river.  How did it get into the river?  We may never know, but we suspect alcohol may have been involved.

The Friends of the Hatchie wishes to thank the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association for its continuing and outstanding support.  The work of "Friends of the Hatchie" clean up events is also made possible by funding from the Tennessee Wildlilfe Resources Agency, who's support has proven to be solid, reliable and unwaivering. 

Other agencies contributing to "Friends of the Hatchie" conservation work include the assistance of Mrs. Ruth Wallace and the "Keep Tipton County Beautiful Commission", the City of Covington Public Works Department and city of Covington Mayor Dr. David Gordon.  Our "green" conservation efforts have been made possible through support of Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith and Solid Waste director Clinton Neal.  

Until the next post, get out there on the river!

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