Be kind to the river as clean-up cancelled by COVID

CLRSS has had to cancel the upper-river clean-up for this year.

Be kind to the river as clean-up cancelled by COVID

In a normal year the Cowichan Lake & River Stewards and Lake Cowichan citizens would be gearing up for the annual river clean up weekend. But of course, this is no ordinary year. It is our COVID-19 summer!

Following the directions of our public health officers CLRSS has had to cancel the upper-river clean-up for this year. We have never had fewer than 50 participants! So first we want to say thank you to the hundreds of valley residents who have participated over the years to make the river clean-up such a success. Thanks to you all for all those cans and bottles, old appliances, metal bits and tons of garbage you have lugged back to Central Park. And thanks to those wonderful dive crews who have scoured the pools and dredged up those amazing finds from decades past and to the Cowichan Valley Search and Rescue who have kept us safe.

Thanks also to the Town of Lake Cowichan and the CVRD and for the thousands of dollars raised over the years from our local sponsors like Country Grocer, Tim Hortons, Jakes at the Lake, Tube Shack, Home Hardware and RBC. Our accompanying bottle drive has allowed us to fund our stewardship work. Over the years it has been a tremendous community effort we can all be proud of. (Note that the lower Cowichan River cleanup is also cancelled this year for similar reasons.)

CLRSS has had to scale back some of our activities this year but our work in the Gerald Thom Memorial Native Plant Garden, our Gerald Thom Environmental Studies Student Bursary, our fry rescue activities, our water quality monitoring on the lake, our collaborations with the Cowichan Watershed Board and CVRD on the new weir design project and our planning for new youth oriented programs and activities for next year, are all going strong.

Let’s hope we can all get back to the river clean-up next year. But until we do, please do what you can to keep our river and lake clean and litter free. And in the spirit of Dr. Bonnie Henry please: Be kind to the river, Be calmed by the river and Be safe on the river.

Ken Traynor

President CLRSS

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