Casting for trash

RI coastal cleanup gets start at Salter Grove

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If you’re fishing for trash, your greatest catch is going to be where fishermen left it.

That was Trent Batson’s advice to more than 25 volunteers, including Ward 1 Councilman Rick Corley, who gathered Friday at Salter Grove Park as Save The Bay prepared to lead International Coastal Cleanup efforts across the state during September and October.

As the founder of Preservation Network, a volunteer group within Save The Bay, Batson knows where trash gets left at Salter Grove. He’s done cleanups there before.

Since repair to the causeway to the jetty, an effort of Friends or Salter Grove, traffic has picked up to this popular overlook to the Providence River and Upper Narragansett Bay – and so has the level of cans, bottles, paper cups, plastic bags and debris.

As volunteers – including a large contingent from Citizens Bank in their green T-shirts – gathered around, Batson urged them to look between the rocks because that’s where they would find the trash.

There was more to the cleanup than picking up after the careless actions of others.

As part of the International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers also log what kind of trash they pick up. Batson told the assembly to break up into smaller groups of four and five with one member taking on the job of recording what was collected. In addition to log sheets, Save The Bay provided gloves, collection bags and trash grabbers.

This is the sixth consecutive year Save The Bay has led the International Coastal Cleanup, which is now in its 34th year as a global event that brings together an estimated 800,000 volunteers to pick up coastline litter around the world. Save The Bay projects 2,500 volunteers will join in the Rhode Island effort this year.

Warwick cleanups are scheduled to continue this Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Longmeadow fishing area; Saturday, Sept. 21, at Conimicut Point, Oakland Beach and Salter Grove from 10 a.m. to noon and Goddard Park from 8 to 10 a.m.; Sunday, Sept. 22, at Warwick City Park from 10 a.m. to noon; Saturday, Sept. 28, at Chepiwanoxet Point from 1 to 3 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 11, at Rocky Point from 1 to 3 p.m.; and Thursday, Oct. 17, at Oakland Beach from 2 to 4 p.m.

A cleanup of Stillhouse Cove in Cranston is set for Saturday, Sept. 21, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

A complete list of cleanups statewide can be found on the Save The Bay volunteer portal. Teams interested in signing up, or those with questions about volunteer opportunities, should contact July Lewis at jlewis@savethebay.org.

Katy Dorchies of Save The Bay reported Monday that volunteers collected 219 pounds of trash and debris Friday. She said there was a high volume of cans and bottles – and, not surprisingly given Batson’s advice, a quantity of discarded fishing line.

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