Tires, bottles, scrap metal, and more. It’s all trash and it’s all showing up in the low waters of the Connecticut River.
“It’s never pleasant to see trash along the river banks and I don’t think anyone enjoys seeing that,” Angie Mrozinki said.
Angie is Outreach Coordinator for the Connecticut River Watershed Council. She says the Connecticut and it’s tributaries are low throughout the Pioneer Valley.
“We kind of started out dry to begin with and it’s been compounded by low amounts of rain over the course of the summer and high heat,” Mrozinki said.
In West Springfield we found a truck stuck in the mud after it’s driver and passenger thought they could venture out to previously unchartered parts of the river. Just a bit downstream, meanwhile, these boaters struggled to get in water higher than their knees to launch their new boat.
“It makes it a little more difficult because usually the tide is a little higher in order for us to, ya know, go out there boating,” one man said, “Ya know got to make the most of it. Summer is halfway through so we got to enjoy ourselves one way or the other.”
Angie says that in a small way the dry conditions can actually be a positive because people can retrive large pollutants that would normally be submerged in deep waters.
“It’s absolutely easier to go along the shoreline and pick up what you can see. You can see more. You can get to it easier,” Mrozinki said. “It’s safer to reach it. Your not going to be going into high currents to reach it like you would potentially be in the spring time.”
Angie hopes that getting the chance to see what often sits at the river’s base will mean more awareness about pollution.
“I think it does inspire us and the public as well to get involved and get out there and try and clean it up,” Mrozinki said. “Because we want to see a healthy river, a clean river and we want people who are using the river to stay safe and healthy as well.”
The Connecticut River Watershed Council says they are always looking for donations, including tough plastic bags and gloves. They are also hosting their annual clean-up on Saturday, September 29th. For info, email cleanup@ctriver.Org