Community partners for clean stream project

Story by Emily Williams, Contributing writer

The Calloway County Conservation District, the Jackson Purchase Foundation, the Four Rivers Basin Team, Cub Scout Pack 57 and the Murray Environmental Student Society (MESS) have partnered and will be joining together from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, for their Clean Stream Team Project and need volunteers to help clean up the streams in our community.

Justin Smith, stormwater/drainage technician for Murray, said it was their goal to come up with a public project for the community.

“We’re doing this to promote awareness so people will know that littering can end up in our streams,” Smith said. “We’re trying to keep our streams as clean as possible for our fish, our environment. Overall, we need to keep our city clean.”

Smith said his team picked out eight sections of streams across the community to target during Saturday’s project. Roseberry Branch and Dee Creek are among those selected, along with tributaries off of Industrial Road that lead down to Clarks River.

“When we looked at some of our streams, there was trash floating in them,” Smith said. “Because of this, we decided this would be a good project to get public involvement and volunteers out here to help clean up our community.”

Smith said they will also be stenciling storm drainage boxes around the community with stencils that read “No dumping, drains to river.”

Drew Bohl, senior MESS member from Independence, Kentucky, said he and others from the society will be participating in the project on Saturday.

He said MESS values empowering students to actively work towards a more sustainable future and promotes awareness and activism in environmental and conservation issues while engaging in activities that foster positive change in the local community.

“We feel the city of Murray is taking a good first step to clean up plastic pollution in our local streams and preventing this problem from occurring in the future,” Bohl said.

Rhonda Lamb, watershed coordinator of the Calloway County Conservation District said the state was given a 319 (H) EPA grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which goes toward cleaning up streams in northeast Calloway County and educating the public about the importance of clean water.

Lamb said every water source in this country eventually runs to the Gulf.

“We are really pushing to make people aware that what we do here can affect people everywhere else,” Lamb said.