February 12, 2014
Check out this picture. Would you like to see this in your backyard? No... not the bear .... the TRASH! Not only is it unappealing to the eye, but it can be hazardous to animals, aquatic life, the ecosystem; and YOU!
All of this garbage wasn't dumped in one place, all at one time, by one irresponsible person. It accumulated one piece at a time as the river flowed along picking up each person's (hopefully) unintentional discard.
You might think .... "no big deal" if one little candy wrapper or plastic water bottle got away while you were rafting, canoeing, kayaking, hiking or camping along the river.
Well, think again. Remember, you're not the only one using that fresh water source. Other people use it --- for recreation, for drinking water. Animals use it for gathering food and drinking water. Aquatic life LIVES IN IT! It's their home!
There's much, much more, though. This is just the "visible" trash.
Do you think it's OK to urinate and/or defecate in or near fresh water? How about washing dishes or bathing? Do you toss the entrails of fish back into the water? Do you rinse empty containers in the river?
Here are some ways you can Protect & Respect Our Streams, Lakes and Rivers:
Wash Dishes, Laundry and Yourself at least 200 feet away from fresh water sources.
If you use soap, use a bio-degradable brand and discard it at least 200 feet away from fresh water sources.
Do not dump sudsy water into fresh water sources
Before dumping dish water, strain it first to remove food scraps
Put food scraps in zip lock bag or sealed container or with your trash
Do not Urinate or Defecate in or around fresh water sources
Dig at least a 6 inch hole for defecating or put your waste in a "doggie bag" along with the toilet paper
Carry out your toilet paper - you can burn it later on your fire or put it in a waste bag
Do not dispose of fish or animal entrails in or around fresh water sources
Always clean up your messes, your campsite and possibly leave cleaner than it was
Each one of us must share the responsibility and respect our fresh water sources so that as generations follow, they, too will have the opportunity to enjoy quality outdoor experiences.