Keep Carter County Beautiful holds Watauga River Cleanup

Published 7:57 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

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Keep Carter County Beautiful partnered last week with conservation group Trout Unlimited and Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts to clean up a section of the Watauga River that has become a dumping ground for trash and tires.

One of the biggest issues surrounding the area of the Watauga River located off of Blevins Road is the amount of tires that are dropped off at the bank and sent into the waterway. “Out of approximately 100 tires that have been dumped into our beautiful Watauga River, we were able to retrieve a total of 35 tires from the river near Blevins Road on Saturday and pull them up a steep and slippery bank,” said Ed Jordan, chairman of Keep Carter County Beautiful.

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“These efforts were very challenging as most of the tires that have been dumped into the Watauga River were filled with mud and some of them even had trees that were growing out from them,” Jordan continued. “While we were in the area, we also cleaned up trash and finished with about seven large bags full.”

The clean was a group effort with numerous organizations taking part. “On behalf of Keep Carter County Beautiful, I want to thank County Commissioner Charles VonCannon, KCCB Board Member Donald Hlavaty, KCCB Volunteers Chris Perdue, Erin Herbert, Benjamin Hall, Kathy Jordan, Melinda Maddock, Noah Kadish and Trout Unlimited’s Ryan Turgeon for their effort in Saturday‚Äôs portion of the Watauga River cleanup especially on such a rainy and cool morning,” Jordan said. “I also want to thank Carter County Director of Solid Waste Benny Lyons for his help in delivering a dumpster and disposing of the tires and bags of trash.”

Jordan said the clean up effort needs to continue. “Needless to say, we have much more work to do to cleanup the remainder of tires and trash along the bank of the Watauga River and Blevins Road, and KCCB will continue working with Appalachian Paddle Enthusiasts and Trout Unlimited to accomplish this.”

Jordan said more cleanup events will be held in the future.