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September 25, 2014 Published in EcoNews, Other News

Rowers Put Down Their Oars To Clean Up The Shore

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Sixty-two rowers, parents and other volunteers for the Alexandria Crew Boosters gathered at Oronoco Bay Park in Old Town on Saturday, Sept. 20, to participate in the annual Waterfront Clean-Up Day.

Alexandria Crew Boosters participated in the annual Waterfront Clean-Up Day at Oronoco Bay Park. (courtesy photo)

Alexandria Crew Boosters participated in the annual Waterfront Clean-Up Day at Oronoco Bay Park. (courtesy photo)

Held as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s 29th Annual International Coastal Cleanup campaign and the Clean Virginia Waterways initiative, the clean-up was undertaken in conjunction with the City of Alexandria’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services. Approximately 100 people from the area participated in the clean-up effort.

Chris Ottie, Graham Tracy and Stefanos Psaltis-Ivanis make use of a row boat to clean up the Potomac shoreline. (courtesy photo)

Chris Ottie, Graham Tracy and Stefanos Psaltis-Ivanis make use of a row boat to clean up the Potomac shoreline. (courtesy photo)

Karen Lemke, a past ACB president who organized the clean-up for the Crew Boosters, recruited a strong and enthusiastic group of volunteers. The volunteers scoured the waterfront, removing over 75 bags of trash from the waters and the shores. They disposed of bottles, shoes, bags, foam, straws, bottle caps and many types of plastic that littered the shoreline.

“We are really proud of the 62 ACB participants in the clean-up. They worked incredibly hard and left the shores of Oronoco Bay looking great,” Lemke said.

Jeremy Hassen, the Acting Division Chief for Maintenance in the T&ES Stormwater and Sanitary Infrastructure Division, helped coordinate the day’s event. He commended the strong turnout of volunteers across the board. Hassen said this was one of the largest groups he has seen.

Student and adult rowers, along with families and friends, pitched in to clean up the banks of the Potomac around Oronoco Bay Park. According to Natasha Magallon, a junior at T. C. Williams High School who rows with the Old Dominion Boat Club Select Fall Crew program, “As a member of ODBC this cleanup is of importance because this is the water we put our boats in, practice in and even race in. Taking care of the river is the same as taking care of our oars and our boats. The river is a part of our equipment.”

Crew parent Matt Shuster with his children  and father make the clean-up of Oronoco Bay Park a family affair. (courtesy photo)

Crew parent Matt Shuster with his children and father make the clean-up of Oronoco Bay Park a family affair. (courtesy photo)

Crew parent Matt Shuster, participating with his father and children Shaan and Rania made it a family affair.  He said, “It was great to have three generations out on a beautiful day for a great cause.”

According to Lemke, this was the third year the Alexandria Crew Boosters have participated in the waterfront clean-up at Oronoco Bay Park, which is adjacent to the City’s premier rowing facility, the Dee Campbell Boathouse. ACB organized a lunch at the boathouse after the clean-up for the volunteers and gave out volunteer certificates to students who participated.

 

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