St. Lawrence trash cleanup to start in June

A series of river cleanups will pick out some of the trash and articles thrown in the St. Lawrence River, like this shopping cart. The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences has received a grant to facilitate the cleanup. (St. Lawrence River Institute via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – Sparked by public complaints and inquires by Cornwall Newswatch last fall about trash floating in the St. Lawrence River, a local river steward has received a $22,000 grant to clean up areas of the riverfront.

The money is coming from the Ontario government’s $1.5 million Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund.

The $22,640.20 will allow the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences to rent heavy equipment and other supplies to do the heavy cleanup in four areas.

They are: the RCAF boat launch area and the river along Lamoureux Park, the river around Cornwall Harbour and east of the harbour, The river and shoreline around St. Lawrence College and Kirkman Court, and the area from Dunbar Avenue down to Gray’s Creek.

The cleanup is being coordinated by the Cornwall Lunker Club and the Seaway Valley Divers Club, along with volunteers.

Among the items under the water are industrial barrels, metal, shopping carts, bicycles, vehicles, weapons and other items, spokeswoman Karen Cooper told Cornwall Newswatch.

Cooper says the community will be encouraged to come out to help with shoreline cleanups at each of the locations, which will be followed by a barbecue. The fishing club will head up the boating work while the dive club will be leading the dive team.

The cleanup dates and locations are as follows:

  • Saturday, June 18 (9am – 1 pm) with BBQ – Gray’s Creek
  • Saturday, July 9 (9am – 1 pm) with BBQ – River Institute
  • Saturday, August 13 (9am – 1 pm) with BBQ – St. Lawrence College
  • Friday, September 16 (9am – 1 pm) High School Shoreline Cleanup / School Waste Education Day with BBQ – RCAF Municipal Boat Launch

As CNW first told you in September, garbage floating around the Cornwall Waterfront Trail was drawing complaints from some residents, prompting the river institute to take action.

The cleanup program will include an educational component to inform the public about what the trash does to the water quality.