Oak Creek Watershed Council’s three day volunteer clean-up project hailed as great success
Sedona AZ (September 3, 2015) – As high recreation season ends, the Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC) and volunteer groups are out in full force working to clean up trash, pet and human waste from the Oak Creek Canyon. Partnering with the Coconino National Forest Red Rock Ranger district and with volunteers from Miller Coors, the Arizona Water Company, the Friends of Oak Creek and the Oak Creek Ambassadors, the first annual Oak Creek Canyon Deep Clean resulted in the removal of 248 pounds of trash, pet and human waste, and 100 pounds of recyclable materials – for a total of 348 pounds of litter.
“Clean-ups are important events for our organization for a number of reasons,” says Dalton Zanetti, OCWC Operations Assistant and organizer of the August Canyon Deep Clean. “The Watershed Council began as a group of concerned residents passionate about protecting the health of Oak Creek and its tributaries. Events like the Deep Clean help us to bring those conservation minded volunteers and groups together, while making a significant impact on reducing pollution in the area and educating volunteers and visitors on prevention.”
Waste patrols helps to keep the canyon beautiful, but more importantly they help to reduce sources of pollution in and around Oak Creek and its tributaries. Taking action on water quality impairments to the creek, such as high levels of E. coli bacteria is a high priority for the OCWC. Projects like the Canyon Deep Clean advance those objectives by addressing the “loved to death” effect of recreation throughout the canyon on the watershed.
The Oak Creek Canyon Deep Clean engaged volunteers working on clean up, but also offered educational opportunities to learn about the science of the watershed and the importance of Leave No Trace recreation practices.
“There is no ‘away’ when it comes to trash and waste in the watershed” says Oak Creek Ambassador Team Leader, Nick Kowall. “Our educational models of the watershed and on how long it takes trash to decompose help us to reach visitors and inform their practices of ‘canyon friendly’ recreation.”
Funding for the Oak Creek Ambassador Program and this event is provided through a grant with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Oak Creek Watershed Council hosts monthly clean- ups along the creek. To learn more about upcoming clean ups or to get involved – as a group or as an individual – visit www.oakcreekwatershed.org.
The Oak Creek Watershed Council is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) dedicated to maintaining a standard of excellence for watershed stewardship, as well as preserving the integrity of Oak Creek, and its tributaries.