August 29, 2006
Two shopping carts, a rubber ducky, parts of several portable
toilets, a stroller, a boat motor, and 235 tires were amongst the 29
tons of junk removed by 200 volunteers from a 35-mile-long stretch
of the Delaware River on August 16th.
Paddling canoes and kayaks, the volunteers searched the river in
four to ten mile sections for debris deposited by the three major
floods that hit the park between September, 2004, and this past
June. The most recent flood occurred on June 29th, when the Delaware
River crested at 32 feet – about 27 feet above normal for that date.
The one-day cleanup effort was organized by the park, with support
from ten local canoe liveries and two Pennsylvania townships.
Canoes, kayaks, paddles, life jackets and shuttle transportation
were provided by the liveries. Employees and equipment from Milford
and Delaware Townships hauled away the trash collected in the park.
The volunteers included scouts, an Outward Bound group of merit
scholars from Philadelphia, a number of park employees and their
families, and many veterans of past river clean up events.
At the end of the day, tired participants shared stories of the
ordinary and the bizarre objects they collected. They made comments
about the refuse they had to leave behind – items too large or too
hazardous to load into a canoe. Overall, there was a sense of
accomplishment – 29 tons of it.
Kittatinny Canoes, a long-time outfitter on the Middle and Upper
Delaware, began the annual river clean up in 1990. Still recovering
from the June 2006 flood, Kittatinny Canoes had to cancel its
cleanup plans for this summer. Rather than let a great tradition
disappear, superintendent John Donahue made a commitment to have the
park sponsor the event this year.
The event was managed under ICS (Rich Degnan, IC).