With clear skies and calm seas, 50 student and adult volunteers participated in the 2018 NAPS Creek Cleanup on Sunday, September 30.
After a lunch for all participants at Ingram Bay Marina, six skiff captains shoved off with cleanup teams to remove boatloads of trash and recyclables from the shorelines near the mouth of the Great Wicomico River.
The teams tackled nearly 25 miles of shoreline along Ingram Bay, Dameron Marsh, Barnes Creek, Mill Creek, Towles Creek and Harveys Creek. The catch was boated back to the marina to be unloaded and sorted. Hundreds of bottles and cans were removed from the waterways and shoreline, plus furniture, a plastic pool liner, old crab traps and oyster floats, pounds of scrap metal, and various other trash.
NAPS added a new competitive twist this year: Prizes to the team with the largest total haul, largest single item, and most unusual item (see slideshow at bottom of article). In addition, each registered participant was awarded a t-shirt and a NAPS reusable grocery bag.
As a safety precaution, a 3-man volunteer crew from Smith Point Sea Rescue – Captains Jim Dise, David Haynie, and Don Stone – stood watch aboard the Rescue II.
The volunteer trash crew consisted of Caroline Andrews, Becca Baker, Jay Bea, Randy Brooks, Olivia Byrd, Lane Eubank, Kyle Fisher, Brett Foster, Christina Frost, Bill Frost, Cooper Haynie, Anna Jett, Zack Moore, Kelsey Moss, Lesley Newman, Braden Newsome, Sam Parker, Brooks Parker, Martin Pinon, Alice Sisson, Caleb Smith, McKensey Smithart, Dalia Tabulenas, DeJour Taylor, Jessica Thrift, Christine Wiggins, Bay Wiggins, Karen Williams, Peter Williams, Ava Wilson, and Dana Wilson.
The volunteer skiffs captains were Stephen & Stacey Akers, Monty Deihl, Don Imbur, Gayle Kauffman, Chris Parker, and Billy Pipkin.
A land-based support crew organized the effort, set up lunch, and sorted the trash as boats returned with their “catch” – Mike Ahart, Bill Estell, Alice Imbur, Rita Johnson, Lynton Land, Judy Lang, Eliot Levinson, Shauna McCranie, and Mary Pipkin.
The NAPS Creek Cleanup was funded by a $750 grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful, a $250 donation by Omega Protein, and NAPS. Other sponsors include Ingram Bay Marina for providing the base of operations, Smith Point Sea Rescue for providing a safety boat and crew, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for providing no-cost accident insurance for registered participants, and the community of Betz Landing for providing tables and chairs.
“It was a great day on the water and a lot of smiling faces,” said Mike Ahart, NAPS president. “It’s nice to see the community come together to help our beautiful creeks and wildlife…every little bit makes a difference.”
NAPS has held Creek Cleanup events since 1993, covering each of the county’s major creeks and rivers at least once. To participate in the next Creek Cleanup as a volunteer or sponsor, email stewardship@NAPSva.org.
(Click/tap any pic below to open slideshow with captions)