Dozens gathered at a key Milwaukie-area floodplain on a rainy Thursday morning to remove litter and debris as the first of many watershed cleanup events to be held throughout the summer in Clackamas County.
An estimated 150 pounds of harmful waste was removed from the 3-Creeks Natural Area by the team of 50 volunteers who participated in the May 12 event, hosted by nonprofit SOLVE and partner Clackamas Water Environment Services, sponsored by Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods.
3-Creeks, an 89-acre patch of wildlife habitat where Mt. Scott, Deer Creek and Mt. Philips creeks converge into Mt. Scott Creek, acts as a natural flood barrier protecting nearby residential communities and is home to plants and animals with limited other places to grow in urban areas of the county.
Volunteers at the 9 a.m. cleanup on Thursday were provided work gloves, grabbing devices for litter and repurposed bags donated by local breweries. They spent three hours until noon picking up items such as cigarette butts, plastic scraps and more from the waterway.
"Each removed item prevents unwanted toxic leaching into the nearby waterways, which support a local cutthroat-trout population and a slowly rebounding Coho-salmon population," SOLVE officials said in a press release.
SOLVE, founded in 1969, aims to restore and preserve Oregon's natural environment through volunteer work. WES, specializing in wastewater treatment, stormwater management and environmental education, has partnered with the nonprofit to host similar cleanup events over the past five years.
Over the course of more than 65 cleanup events during the 2021 Summer Waterway Cleanups series, approximately 2,000 volunteers removed nearly 70,000 pounds of trash, SOLVE officials reported.
To learn more about how to get involved in local cleanup events, click here.
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