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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Two Mile Creek, West Hamlin, West Virginia, USA

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Two Mile Creek, West Hamlin, West Virginia, USA
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Registered: July 2007
City/Town/Province: Branchland
Posts: 1
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In May, my scout troop, with help from the church that charters us, began a stream clean-up project. Our goal is to clean a stretch of Two Mile Creek in West Hamlin, WV all the way to the Guyandotte River. The plan is to complete the project in three steps. The first two have already been completed and the remaining length of the stream is scheduled to be cleaned later in the year.

The reason we decided to clean up the debris in the first place was so that sampling could be performed on the stream. We knew that leaving the debris would not only cause errors in the samples but as well would pose a danger to the ecosystem in the stream. We wanted to sample so that we could tell if there were problems in the ecosystem, and so that we could help repair whatever problems we would find.

Part I
May Clean-up

On May 26, 6 members of my troop set out to clean a 1/3 mile stretch of Two Mile Creek. Sadly, the stream suffers from having neighboring homes that are not concerned with its health. We began by simply picking up trash out of the stream, but soon we realized there was much more to be done. In addition to the 22 bags we filled, we found much larger items. These larger items had been discarded into the stream including a large steel disc weighing over 100lbs and a complete motorcycle that had been buried in the mud for years. Many tires were also discovered sunken into the streambed. Most of the larger debris was pulled out with the assistance of vehicles. There was one part of the area where we discovered a large tarp soaked in water and with sand embedded in it. We needed the entire group to help pull it out, and even then it needed to be cut into pieces. There was so much material collected that it was too much for the dumpster we had to fill. It totaled out at approximately 1400 pounds.

Part II
July Clean-up

On July 2, the clean-up continued. This time we had 18 volunteers and cleaned an additional ½ mile of the stream. We also had special assistance on this event. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP). This program supplied for us gloves, garbage bags, and a trailer to load the debris. They also took care of the disposal of the debris by taking it to a state approved landfill. With their help we were able to collect 35 bags of garbage in addition to the metal and tires that were removed. On this run, we collected approximately 1800 lbs. of material. After this part of the project, the WVDEP posted a picture and description of the work we had done on their website. Now we are planning on the third segment to complete the cleaning of the stream all the way to the river. We will be taking a class from the DEP in August that will give us certification to do proper stream sampling and they will also supply some of the equipment to perform the sampling.

In conclusion, we feel as though we have taken a great leap forward in helping to protect the health of the stream by removing debris that has been in place for many years. Sadly, this is the first time anything of this nature has ever been performed in the area, but we hope it will set the example for others to follow.
Date: July 13, 2007 Views: 12947 File size: 19.9kb, 231.2kb : 1500 x 1125
Hours Volunteered: 114
Volunteers: 18
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 11 to 40
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 1.3
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 1451.5
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