The annual Riversweep effort to clean up the lake didn’t get washed away with the much-needed rains Saturday.
“We do it once a year, and we’ve gotten over the years approximately 1 million pounds of trash out,” said Sam Perkins, Catawba Riverkeeper of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation that organizes the event. “We are very fortunate to have the hundreds of people who came out today throughout the lake at a dozen sites cleaning up the lake.”
Jennifer Culver, site captain at Nivens Creek Access Area, is one of those volunteers.
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“It means a lot to have clean waterways for our future, for my kids’ future, so it’s very important for me to get out and volunteer and involve my whole family and everybody who I can in cleaning up the waterways and saving those things for our future generations,” she said.
Perkins said cleaning up trash is a tangible, accessible way to help water quality.
“These waterways provide not just recreation, but also our drinking water,” he said. “If you don’t live around here, it’s very easy for these issues to be out of sight, out of mind. Your trash ends up here.”
Ellen Goff, co-chair of this year’s Riversweep, said the event started 15 years ago by neighbors beautifying the lakefront. It has grown from one collection location at Buster Boyd Access Area to 14 sites around the lakefront.
“It seems like a lot, but Lake Wylie has a lakeshore that runs more than 300 hundred miles, so it takes quite a lot of volunteer power and lots of hands to make this kind of difference,” Goff said.
Goff said the residents in communities surrounding the lake are making a difference.
“Caring for the lake and doing your part for the environment is something our volunteers tell us they’re very interested in and really want a hands-on way to make a difference,” she said.