Tuesday, September 23, 2014

RiverLink announces Comprehensive Creek Care program

RiverLink announces the Comprehensive Creek Care program, an approach to neighborhood creek care that approaches water quality improvements in a variety of ways. Neighborhoods, businesses, churches and other groups around Western North Carolina have already worked to improve water quality through RiverLink's Adopt-A-Stream program. RiverLink is now offering more tools for more improvements: litter cleanups, stormdrain marking, invasive species removal, and giving unnamed streams names.

The traditional river cleanups, the bread and butter of the Adopt-A-Stream program, will continue. RiverLink has been providing gloves, litter pickup sticks, trashbags and safety vests to caring citizens for over a decade now, empowering them to rid their adopted section of stream of trash and tires.

The Storm Drain Marking project is one simple way of reducing the amount of pollutants going down the drain and into our rivers. RiverLink will provide "Do Not Dump -- Flows to River" markers, glue, and safety vests for volunteer groups that are interested in this project. This is an easy first step towards public education and active involvement in storm water pollution prevention.

Invasive species are an increasing problem in our watershed. Oriental bittersweet, rosa japonica, Japanese knotweed, kudzu and a host of others crowd out native plants along riparian areas. RiverLink's Wanted Dead program will help neighborhood volunteers how to identify the problem plants and arrange volunteer workdays to control the spread of these noxious weeds beside their streams. Plantings of native plants can also be arranged.

In an effort to name and protect the nameless tributaries of the French Broad River, RiverLink is holding Name That Creek contests throughout the watershed. These are local, grassroots projects in which the community submits suggestions for creek names and votes for the most fitting name at a creek-naming ceremony. After a name is chosen, it is submitted to the USGS and eventually becomes the official name for the creek.

Concerned community members who have streams in need of some TLC in their neighborhood can organize a team for the Comprehensive Creek Care program and RiverLink will help get the ball rolling. Contact RiverLink Volunteer Coordinator Adam Sanderson at 828-252-8474, ext. 17 or adam@riverlink.org for more information. 

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