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31 bags of trash picked up from Rocky Run stream in water quality event

More than fifty volunteers picked up trash in the Beaver Valley portion of the First State National Historical Park Saturday during The Nature Conservancy’s biannual watershed cleanup event there. 


Volunteers gathered 31 bags of trash from trails and around the Rocky Run stream. 

The Nature Conservancy’s Kim Hachadoorian says she hopes the cleanup event empowers participants to become regular environmental stewards. 

“People feel good about doing something and I think that it helps to overcome this notion that we as individuals can’t really make a difference, we can’t really help the environment, it’s a problem that’s too big to solve,” she said. “It’s a great first step to say that I can do something.” 

Hachdoorian says the event also raises awareness about water pollution. “Just the fact that there is so much trash and we can host this event twice a year, every year, and unfortunately not run out of trash to pick up—because it’s constantly being replenished from upstream.”

Beyond that, Hachadoorian says the cleanup near Rocky Run stream helps improve water quality downstream in the Brandywine Creek, which provides drinking water for residents of Wilmington and some parts of New Castle County. 

But she notes other pollutants can not be picked up during these volunteer events, such as road salt, excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from lawn fertilizers, and bacteria from manure.

Saturday’s cleanup was part of the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River’s “River Days” event series this month and next.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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