Weekend video: Cleaning up Rock Creek
Hundreds of volunteers of all ages got wet and dirty on Saturday, April 9, for the annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup. The amount and variety of litter that still makes its way into our region's streams is eye-opening, especially in this age of increased environmental awareness.
Each cleanup crew, stationed at one of 57 sites along Rock Creek from Georgetown to upper Montgomery County, collected many bags full of litter that was then collected by either National Park Service or Montgomery County Parks crews. Along with the usual plastic bags, bottles and wrappers, items found included golf balls, a toilet seat, a knife, and several rubber tires.
The event was sponsored by Friends of Rock Creek's Environment (FORCE), a 6-year-old nonprofit that works to protect water quality in the Rock Creek watershed (area in which all rain that falls flows into Rock Creek and its tributaries), which covers much of the District and Montgomery County and is part of the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Along with coordinating hands-on cleaning and maintenance of the creek and its surroundings, including the removal of invasive plant species, FORCE works in the political arena for policies to curb the less visible forms of water pollution caused by a variety of human activities, and encourage "river smart" home and landscape designs that minimize stormwater runoff.
FORCE is one of several water quality protection organizations serving greater Washington. Others are the Anacostia Watershed Society, Potomac Riverkeeper, Friends of Sligo Creek, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. All are deserving of your support, as polluted local waters come back to bite us in many ways.
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