UTICA, Mich. – It's illegal to litter, but that doesn't stop people from tossing trash onto the side of the road. When it rains, that trash ends up in the waterways, threatening fish, birds and other wildlife.
Cleanup volunteers told Local 4 they need help to counteract the bad intentions of litterers.
The Clinton River is in great condition because there are people who have taken stewardship in keeping the watershed clean.
It only takes a moment to toss a fast-food bag, coffee cup or cigarette from the window of a moving vehicle, but when litter makes its way to the Clinton River, it can take much longer to retrieve.
Every warm-weather week, a team of volunteers wears life jackets, grabs paddles and launches an assault on litterers on the Clinton River.
The Clinton River Watershed Council leads the charge.
"Each time we get about 1,000 pounds of trash," Katie Sexton said.
The trash is collected in less than three hours of paddling. On Friday, the army of volunteers included workers from Fiat Chrysler.
The efforts have paid off as the Clinton River and its favorite waterholes are clean. It's time-consuming and sometimes dangerous work.
Volunteers are needed for a big trash roundup weekend to put an even bigger dent in the cleanup efforts.