Turning river into a trash heap

Massive amounts of plastic trash can be seen floating down the Ohio River, especially following a heavy rain. Sadly, most of this litter is the legacy of thoughtless people that litter our roadsides and streams. It is easy to imagine where this material eventually goes.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not remove trash around our dams and locks unless this material may impede commercial barge traffic on the waterways. A visit to the Reedsville dam in search of a fishing location was startling when seeing the large raft of trash surrounding this structure on the up-river side.

A call to the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineer’s office in Huntington revealed an even more shocking discovery when I was told that the Corps had as its official policy orders to simply flush trash down the river, thus knowing that most will eventually reach the sea, where the unknown tons of mostly plastic litter will kill millions of marine organisms yearly in our oceans.

Apparently the recreational uses of the Ohio River, the desires of sport fishermen, and the lives of our planet’s wildlife mean nothing to this government organization. I commend those who donate their time to clear this trash from our waterways. But, the Corps with their tremendous resources could do more in a short time than all the hands of these wonderful volunteers.

If you agree the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could do more to clear our waterways of the deadly and unsightly pollution, please contact our U.S. Senators.

  • Sen. Joe Manchin III

306 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington D.C. 20510

(202) 224-3954.

  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller

531 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington D.C. 20510

Stanley Cole