The use of a jet ski is creatively used at the big pool area of the river

4th Annual Cowichan River clean-up: Two-day event from weir to the bay

There is no time like the present to help keep the Cowichan River clean and pristine for all to enjoy.

There is no time like the present to help keep the Cowichan River clean and pristine for all to enjoy.

The Cowichan Lake and River Stewards Fourth Annual Cowichan River Cleanup is fast approaching. Starting on Saturday, August 25, CLRSS members will be accepting the help of volunteers (that means you) to clean all of the garbage from in and around the Cowichan River, starting at the weir and going right to Cowichan Bay, where the river dumps into the ocean.

“I’m actually fired up about this year,” said CLRSS president Gerald Thom. “We’re doing from the weir all the way down to the bay, over two days. The Saturday event here at Lake Cowichan, which will get us down to as far as Sandy Pools [in Sahtlam] and then the next day we’re cooperating with Cowichan Tribes and the Cowichan Water Board to do from Sandy Pools to the estuary, which is really cool because it’s never been done before.”

Registration to volunteer for the cleanup begins on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Lake Cowichan Town Hall and will include a free continental breakfast. Organizers have also arranged for prizes for all volunteers, with items donated by local businesses, and the day will wrap up at 2 p.m. with a free barbeque.

Mountain Man Services is once again providing trucks to haul away the collected garbage, but CLRSS treasurer, Lois Atchison, who is also one of the event organizers, says that those who bring along extra trucks and/or boats to help out will not be turned away.

“And CVRD provides us with free tipping at Meades Creek,” said Thom. “So we usually pull out in excess of a ton, believe it or not. It’s sad, but it’s getting way better than it was when we first started.”

Volunteers are divided into teams and given designated sections of the river to clean up.

“We have team leaders who have specific sections of the river, and they register the people and take them out and make sure that they’re safe and equipped,” said Thom.

Organizers provide all equipment other than footwear and swimwear.

“It’s not just for swimmers,” said Thom. “There’s jobs for people on the shore too. But if people do have a tube, or mask and snorkel, bring it along. It’s always difficult to gear up everybody.”

Thom says that the problem has shuffled from the section between the weir and Little Beach to the Skutz Falls area.

“The garbage down there, it’s so hard to get out,” said Thom. “Because it’s canyon, so we’re going to have a hell of a time trying to get it out.”

Don Barrie from Warm Rapids Inn will be helping out with this section of the river. Barrie has swift water training and will be working with a small group of volunteers.

“Without him we couldn’t even do that section,” said Thom. “It’s too dangerous.”

The Nanaimo dive club is also a key part of the cleanup, says Thom.

“They send divers up every year to do the bottom of the big pool, because no word of a lie, there is feet thick of glass bottles down there.”

Thom says these bottles are still around from when boat houses existed in the area.

“Every year we bring up boat loads of antique glass bottles. And now we’re fishing them back out 100 years later.”

There is no pre-registration required to be part of the cleanup, all you have to do is show up at 9 a.m. on the Saturday and be ready to participate in whatever way you feel comfortable.

All children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult, but all age groups are encouraged to participate.

Gloves and appropriate footwear are a must and are not provided.

For more information go to, or phone Atchison at 250-749-3055, or Thom at 250-749-7203.


Just Posted

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP warn against leaving dogs in cars on hot days

Community Canine Heatstroke Responder program now being used

Editorial: Whale of a win in parliament not the end of the fight

Whales and dolphins are amazing creatures.

CVAC Jaguars climb podium at Garriock

Host team earns more than 90 medals

Take a breather among the rhododendrons at Lake Cowichan

Just off Lake Cowichan’s main road is a quiet oasis

Sunshine and safety for bike rodeo students

Students at Quw’utsun Smuneem Elementary School in Glenora were treated to a… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. First Nation plans to launch legal challenge after Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan says he’ll continue to defend the B.C. coast

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

BREAKING: Forest fire on North Island disrupts Hwy. 19

Wildfire has reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Most Read