Two boys clean up waterways in West Inverness
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:51

Shopping carts, mopeds and bicycles found

by Ben Boehl

    Josh Craig is a 17-year-old who lives near Lynch Cove at the end of Inverton Road. He goes to the nearby pier to fish, but says the only thing he catches is trash.     
    “I like to go fishing and crabbing, but my fishing line always gets caught on something.”
    Instead of simply complaining about the water being too polluted, Josh decided to remove the trash from the water.
    His father John helped by giving him a big hook to see what he could find. Within two days, he found items that were not meant for the water.
    “He had his own hook, but I made him a better hook,” John said. “Josh pulled out three to four bicycles and a moped.”
    There was more, as Josh found shopping carts, boat parts and a gate that might have been used at the boat ramp.
    “That gate was there about seven to eight years ago. I guess someone must have broken it off and thrown it into the water,” John added.
    When eight-year-old Tyler Chance saw Josh cleaning out the water, he decided to help. Tyler said he did not know Josh but wanted to help — so he did.
  

“People throw away a lot of stuff like shopping carts. We found a moped, bikes and tires and rims to a boat,” Tyler said.
    Josh and Tyler started their cleanup on June 20 and filled multiple shopping carts with trash. They kept working for four days and found more items — including more shopping carts.
    “We want it so people can go swimming,” Tyler said. “We had a hook and we were able to drag (the trash) out.”
    Another concern is safety. While swimming in the water is illegal, Josh is worried if someone jumps into the water, he or she could be injured or entangled by an item such as a shopping cart.
    Josh said he was surprised and sad to find so much trash and said there is much more to be removed.
    “There is a four-wheeler down there that I’m trying to get out,” he added.
    John said that county personnel have picked up some of the trash, but the amount is overwhelming and more needs to be taken to a landfill.
    Josh and Tyler plan to spend much of the summer cleaning up the river.
    To illustrate how bad the dumping problem is inside the water, Josh pointed out that someone placed yet another shopping cart next to the water a few days after he started his cleanup.
    Josh said he believes the person saw the trash piled by the water and added the shopping cart to the collection. He speculated that the person would have probably threw that cart into the water if it was not for his trash pile.
    “I want to help the community so people can go fishing and crabbing again,” Josh said.
    “There are some rockfish in there, but it is mostly trash right now.”
    John Johnson walks his dog by the area and tries to clean up the trash around the pier. He was happy that the two boys were taking an interest in cleaning the waterways.
    “You won’t find too many kids who will do that for free,” Johnson said about the boys.
    John Long, founder & president of the environmental organization Clean Bread and Cheese Creek, has been holding community cleanups since 2009 and was happy to hear of Tyler and Josh’s work.
    Long said the only way the water is going to get clean is through the efforts of volunteers such as Josh and Tyler.    
    Long’s group has not cleaned up the lower portion of Lynch Cove, so he was not surprised to hear that the boys found so much trash in their area.
    “Our waterways are atrocious. We have been at the upper portion of Lynch Cove and we would like to expand down, but there is only so much I can do.”