Sandy Cumming

River Cleanup volunteer numbers down, but so is garbage

Kaatza Museum given train wheels found during the Cowichan River Cleanup.

Continuing the trend that’s been present over the last few years, this year’s Cowichan River Cleanup saw less garbage being retrieved from the river than its predecessor, but as organizer Sandy Cumming explained – that’s a good thing.

“We didn’t pull up as much garbage as last year, but that just means there’s less garbage left, less old stuff,” he said. “But even if all we find is one can, we’ll still do it. It’s good for the community, it brings people together.”

Organized by the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society, the Cowichan River Cleanup recently took place for its seventh year in a row. The turnout of volunteers was also lower than last year’s, with 93 people spending their morning and afternoon cleaning the river, though last year’s Cowichan River Cleanup saw 106 registered volunteers take part. Though turnout took a dip, Cumming said that he wasn’t even expecting 93 volunteers this year.

“I think the smoke and the negative press surrounding that had an effect on the River Cleanup,” he said. “There were pictures on TV the day before that were showing Lake Cowichan almost sucked in by the smoke, so I’m surprised anybody showed up. It’s a testament to the people who live here.”

Along with the locals, the Sundown Diving Club from Nanaimo was also in town, as usual, scouring the bottom of the river for trash. A few tourists were also on hand to help with the cleanup, including a family from southern France, a man from Brazil and a woman from Germany, who spent the day diving.

The most common items retrieved from the Cowichan River were beer and pop cans, though this year also saw an unusual amount of bottles collected, particularly near the Riverside Pub.

“Every year we find quite a bit there,” Cumming said. “At this point we’ve collected enough to keep us going for years.”

As is expected by now, volunteers also brought up a few odd pieces of garbage from the Cowichan River, including a set of wheels that Cumming suspects came from the front of a train.

“It makes me wonder where the rest of the train went,” he joked.

The wheels have been donated to the Kaatza Station Museum. Money received from can and bottle refunds will go to the Stewardship Society to be used for their shoreline and boater education programs.

A cleanup of the lower half of the river is being organized by the Cowichan Watershed Board and will take place later this month.

Just Posted

Kerry Park’s new goalie is perfect in VIJHL debut

Charles-Olivier Lepage shuts out high-powered Storm

Longtime resident and business owner Garry Bruce running for Duncan city council

I have been a resident in the City of Duncan for more than 60 years

Double heartbreak for Cowichan Capitals at BCHL Showcase

Caps edged in OT one night, give up winner with 4.5 seconds left the next day

Alison Nicholson is ‘committed to community’ in bid for re-election to Area E

Mission is to work with you to build community where there is an opportunity for everyone to prosper

Penelakut Tribe threatens legal action on freighters

Lack of consultation cited by Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP MacGregor

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read