NAPS Launches Flotilla for River and Creek Cleanup (with Slideshow)

With a warm wind and cloudy skies, 62 student and adult volunteers participated in the annual Creek Cleanup organized by the Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship (NAPS) on Sunday, October 6th.

After a lunch for all participants at the Mallard Bay Community Clubhouse near Heathsville, seven skiff captains shoved off with cleanup teams to remove boatloads of trash and recyclables from the shorelines of the upper Great Wicomico River and adjacent creeks. A small group of kayakers tackled the headwater creeks of Bush Mill Stream and Crabbe Mill Stream.

The teams covered over 30 miles of shoreline, bringing the “catch” back to the Mallard Bay piers to be unloaded and sorted. Bottles, cans, plastic, fishing gear and dock debris were removed from the water and shore, plus lawn furniture, a sunken sailboat, old crab baskets and oyster floats, scrap metal, tires and various other trash.

Prizes were awarded to the students on the teams with the largest total haul, largest single item, most unusual item, and most reusable item (see photos/captions at end of article). In addition, each registered participant was awarded a NAPS-designed T-shirt with a trash crab logo and the message: “don’t trash my Bay!”

As in past NAPS creek cleanups, a volunteer crew from Smith Point Sea Rescue – Captains Pete Ratiz, Buddy Sylvia, and Bill Turbille – stood watch aboard the Rescue I as a safety precaution.

The volunteer trash crew consisted of members of the school Beta Club and Community Problem Solvers groups, members of the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office Explorers, and other students and adults from the community: Althea Akgun, Atilla Akgun, Gus Akgun, Heather Akgun, Nate Akgun, Caroline Andrews, Becca Baker, James Baker, Keith Ball, Talen Ballast, Jay Bea, Bernadette Blackwell, Ian Brownlee, Emily Burgess, Tashil Chavda, Ann Demuth, Lane Eubank, Amanda Faulkner, Isaak Faulkner, Geoffrey Frank, Holly Hartung, Anna Jett, Jessica Lee, Kelsey Moss, Brady Mullins, Teagan Mullins, Bradi O’Bier, Brooks Parker, Sam Parker, Marin Pinon, Channing Reynolds, Camdin Sisk, Alice Sisson, Caleb Smith, and McKensey Smithart.

The volunteer skiffs captains were Northumberland County Deputy Stephen Akers with first mate Stacey Akers, Bill Armstrong of the Northern Neck Land Conservancy, Monty Deihl of Omega Protein with first mate Mary Deihl, Becky Haynie of Long & Foster Real Estate, Don Imbur of NAPS, Chris Parker of TowBoatUS, and Northumberland High School sophomore Hallie Shackleford.

A land-based support crew organized the effort, set up lunch, and sorted the trash as boats returned with their catch: Mike Ahart, Geoff Frank, Linda Gayle, Ralph Hendrickson, Julie Hendrickson, Zoe Ingalls, Rita Johnson, Lynton Land, Judy Lang, Richard LeBaron, Janice Mahoney, Shauna McCranie, Carrie Mullins, & Northumberland County supervisor Tommy Tomlin.