Friday, April 22, 2011

Back River Denizens Decry Debris

Back River
Back River neighbors say trash in waterway out of control
All of Baltimore's uncollected trash — from the bottles tossed in storm drains to the litter dropped carelessly on the streets — seems to wash into Back River.

At least, that's the way it looks to residents along the eastern Baltimore County waterway.

A trash boom installed a year ago was filled Thursday with bottles, tires, balls, logs, even a small appliance. Crews will remove all that debris to prevent it from flowing downstream into the Chesapeake Bay. But the task is never-ending, especially after a heavy rain.

"You will find anything that floats in this river in the boom," said Brian Schilpp, project manager for the Back River Restoration Committee, a nonprofit community group. "After every rain, the whole watershed from Towson through Northeast Baltimore washes down here. Storm water is a big problem."...
Egrets pick through trash at the Anacostia River
 I'm well acquainted with this issue.  I have carried out a number of research projects over the years in the Anacostia River, from where it dumps (literally) in the the Potomac River in Washington D.C. up into Maryland where the tidal region begins.  Parts of the Anacostia would be scenic, if it weren't for the trash that winds floating in it.  Much of it is woody debris, as you see in the picture above, but it is also has bottles, balls, cans, tires and, as it says above, almost anything that might float drifting about on the surface.  The Anacostia has a  boom to catch debris at the railroad bridge at Anacostia Park (above), and trash collecting boats work on the river daily, and the trash keeps coming...

You might also recall that after a big storm recently we had a big windrow of trash wash up on our beach.  I blamed the Susky overflow at the time, but wouldn't surprise me if some of it washed down from Back River and Baltimore as well.

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