An enthusiastic group of Chugach Children’s Forest Stewardship Expedition alumni spent their Saturday (with an early 7:30am start!) picking up trash along the Kenai River with StreamWatch as part of the annual Kenai River Clean Up.
StreamWatch is a program coordinated by the Kenai Watershed Forum and the Chugach National Forest that promotes conservation of the Kenai and Russian Rivers through outreach and stewardship. CCF has been invited to be a part of Stream Watch’s stewardship efforts over the past three years – completing projects such as erecting and taking down habitat fencing and picking up trash along the Kenai and Russian Rivers.
This year, CCF youth rafted down the Kenai River with Alaska Wildland Adventures, a rafting guide company that donates a day of rafting to the annual clean up efforts. The rafts docked at popular locations, giving the CCF youth and other volunteers opportunities to jump out and collect what trash they could find. While some fishing line, lures, broken glass, and chip bags littered the banks, many noted that the amount of trash is noticeably declining from year to year. A great sign that fishers are being more conscious about their trash – a direct result of Stream Watch’s efforts over the past 20 years to provide outreach and education to the users of the popular salmon rivers about their impacts on the ecosystem.
After the day of service, the CCF youth stayed for a celebration barbecue and enjoyed delicious food and great music. They had the opportunity to chat with Chugach National Forest, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Kenai Watershed Forum staff, as well as members of the Alaska Fly Fishers, who hosted the celebration. They were graciously thanked for their willingness to spend their Saturday participating in stewardship to their public lands!
The Chugach Children’s Forest thanks the US Forest Service, Chugach National Forest, Alaska Wildland Adventures, ConocoPhillips, Kenai Watershed Forum, and Alaska Fly Fishers for making our involvement possible!