Adopt-a-River Week coming up in September

The Rainy River First Nations’ Watershed Program is inviting schools, community groups, and businesses to select a section of the Rainy River watershed to adopt and clean up during the week of Sept. 10-18.
“The watershed program has successfully co-ordinated clean-ups since 1998,” noted former project officer Heather Anderson.
“In 2004, 270 people from across the district cleaned 14 km of shoreline, and this year we hope to surpass last year’s numbers,” she added.
Anderson explained how cleaning up the Rainy River is everyone’s responsibility because it is vital for recreation, drinking water, wildlife habitat, and irrigation.
“Everybody uses the river in one way or another so it is an important component of the culture and heritage of the Rainy River District,” she noted.
This year, the watershed program is partnering with the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up Program, a Vancouver-based environmental organization that provides materials for volunteers from around the country to clean up waterways.
All the items that are collected will be recorded and compiled with international results. This data is used to target—through education and legislation—the behaviours that produce the most aquatic debris.
“The most interesting part of the [materials] package is a tracking sheet to tally the types of materials that are collected,” Anderson remarked. “That helps them [the Shoreline Clean-up Program] direct their educational efforts in the areas where it’s needed the most.
“A shoreline clean-up is a great event for people of all ages, and can be used by [high school] students to fulfill their community volunteer requirements,” Anderson added.
To date, two groups—J.W. Walker School in Fort Frances and Crossroads School in Devlin—already have registered to participate in Adopt-a-River Week.
If your community group, school, or business is interested in organizing a clean-up event, call Adam Scott at 482-2479 before Aug. 31 in order to have the packages available on time.

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