An enormous cleanup effort made its way to Portsmouth last week by means of a literal garbage barge. The garbage barge, dubbed not only for what it carries, but also what it has been carefully constructed from, docked at the Court Street landing this past Thursday through Saturday. The barge is operated by Living Lands and Waters, an official 501(c)(3) headquartered in East Moline, Ill., founded by Chad Pregracke, and travels the country to help remove trash and debris from waterways. The barge and Living Lands and Waters employees have assisted in various disaster relief clean-up efforts on top of the routine clean-up rounds. Aside from cleanups, the Living Lands and Waters’ crew host watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantings and other key conservation efforts.
On the days the garbage barge docked in Portsmouth, two clean up sessions were held per day, one in the morning starting at 9:30 a.m. and an afternoon session which began at 1:30 p.m. Locals had the opportunity to sign up and volunteer with the crew to assist in the cleanup of the Ohio River, where they were tasked with filling smaller john boats with trash and debris which would then be deposited onto the barge. All necessary supplies were provided for volunteers, and lunch was provided.
Although this was the garbage barge’s first visit to Portsmouth, since 1998, with the help of more than 100,000 volunteers, the barge has been used to remove an estimated 9.8 million pounds of trash from 24 rivers in 21 states.
According to the Garbage Barge’s tentative schedule, this week the crew will be traveling from Portsmouth to Vanceburg, Ky where they will continue to spread their preservation and restoration efforts there.
Reach Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932