One of the ways to get the Whitewater River Watershed off of a federal 303(d) list of contaminated rivers is to start paying more attention to it.
Whitewater River Watershed Project leaders have planned two activities to do just that:
• A water monitoring demonstration will take place Monday, June 16, at the Brookville Park (southern entrance at River and East 8th streets) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District and Whitewater River Watershed Project are partnering on the event. IDEM professionals will show fish and macroinvertebrates (large water-dwelling bugs easier to catch than fish) sampling techniques and discuss how results are used and equipment utilized. During a short lunch break, participants can bring a sack lunch or quickly pick up carryout.
• The ORSANCO (Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission with eight member states, including Indiana and Ohio) River Sweep Cleanup, also sponsored by WRWP, is Saturday, June 21, starting at 1 p.m. The Franklin County registration site will be located at Whitewater Canoe Rental, 1154 Main St., Brookville. There will be a few canoes available for people to utilize or volunteers are welcome to bring their own canoes or kayaks. Volunteers who are unable to go into the water may pick up trash on the river’s banks. Each volunteer will receive a commemorative T-shirt and will be provided with water, trash bags and gloves (while supplies last). Persons should register by June 19 to secure their T-shirt sizes and supplies.
“We welcome all children 18 and under, but we ask that they be supervised by a parent or guardian. Having the youth of our community participate in these type of events encourages an early interest in their world around them,” say WRWP technical coordinator Heather Wirth and WRWP outreach coordinator Chelsea Tooley.