Metal, Glass and Trash Exposed in Shallow Cedar River
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – City workers and volunteers are tackling a trash problem in the Cedar River.
The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department took on the cleanup effort last month. Monday, crews will continue the work on the banks of the river at the 16th Avenue Bridge and move north. Volunteers are asked to gather at Masaryk Park, located at 1st Street SE and the 16th Avenue Bridge, at 8:30 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday to help.
"We're really pushing hard this year to get a lot of work done while the river is low," said Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Superintendent Daniel Gibbins. "We don't expect the water to be so low for who knows how long. So, this year is really critical to get this section of the river, which is really in its worse state for our whole city corridor.”
City leaders said the river is at the lowest levels they can remember. They're finding all kinds of trash.
“You don’t want your river to look like a landfill, some of the plastics, some of the trash bags that kind of thing are very detrimental to aquatic life and we want to clean that out as much as we can,” Gibbins said
The drought has dried up the river leaving everything from old pottery to car parts and even old road signs exposed in the sandy river bed. Workers believe some of the trash has been sitting here for decades, but a lot of it came from the flood of 2008.
"When a river floods, it takes debris from miles and miles and we don't know exactly where a lot of this stuff came from,” Gibbins said. “Likely a lot of this stuff is from the community, likely a lot of it is from other areas before even the five and one dam was put in."
The city also said it doesn't want to send any of this junk to neighboring cities.
Volunteers are asked to wear boots and bring gloves to help with the cleanup effort.
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