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Hundreds volunteer to clean up Willamette River

"The Willamette is like the lifeblood running through our community."

Posted: Oct 5, 2019 2:49 PM
Updated: Oct 5, 2019 2:51 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Saturday, hundreds of volunteers took to the river to make a dent in the growing trash problem plaguing our water fronts in The Great Willamette Clean Up.

The event was a state wide push with clean up efforts from Portland to Roseburg

Michelle Emmons works with the Willamette Riverkeeper and she said that in Lane County alone, more than 300 people volunteered.

"There are a lot of homeless camps in the area and it's after summer so there's a lot of recreational trash that also builds out along the river banks. One of the things that we're seeing that is a little unsavory is needles that are being pushed downstream," she said.

Christina Bentrup with Eugene Parks and Open Spaces says that events like this bring awareness to people about how big of a problem this really is and how they can make a difference.

"The Willamette is like the lifeblood running through our community," Bentrup said. "The waterways are public property that belong to all of us and while we do have hired city staff that support the parks, we just cant do it all."

This all comes on the heels of a recent addition of an illegal dumping deputy assigned to Douglas County Sheriffs Office

RELATED: DOUGLAS COUNTY DEPUTY CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL DUMPING

If you see someone illegally dumping trash you can report that on the Lane County website.

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