Monday, August 27, 2012

Litter picking is an All Season Sport - Marine Debris removed from VT Waterway-Red Rocks Park/Beach, South Burlington, Vermont

As I raced on my bike to South Burlington Red Rocks beach (on Lake Champlain) July 28th, I envisioned debris from last year’s Irene tropical storm, washed up on the shoreline, as I have seen on streams and rivers in other regions of Vermont.  

I joined Patty Leclair, (Volunteer & Logistics Coordinator for the Rozalia Project: Cleaning Vermont's Waterways), and project members along with eight other volunteers to assist in picking up marine debris on and beyond Red Rocks beach. The friendly associations were a plus beyond finding a few interesting debris articles and a resultant cleaner waterway. We collected 464 pieces of trash and debris weighing 22.4 lbs. in less than two hours. Previously the Rozalia crew cleaned Red Rocks from June 11-15 of this year and picked up 2,127 pieces of debris from a 2-mile stretch of beach, the debris totaled 139.4 lbs

According to Green up Vermont, the Rozalia Project and the VT Dept. of Labor are teaming up to get rid of harmful trash and debris. Thanks to a DOL Disaster Recovery Grant, Rozalia Project will employ up to 36 people who have been affected by the floods. Crews will cleanup watersheds throughout Vermont.

Brigid Meehan-Brese, Rozalia site coordinator advises that, "Rozalia’s Cleaning Vermont's Waterways project has removed 146,735 pieces

of marine debris totaling 62,381 pounds from VT waterways since March 2012.  We {Rozalia Project} have covered a total of 132 miles thus far. This comes out to 1109 pieces, 471 pounds of trash per mile." (Aug. 3, 2012)

Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean’s Executive Director, Rachael Z Miller, notes, "Marine debris is the sleeping dragon of Lake Champlain's pollution problems. Pieces of plastic and foam are filling Vermont's waterways from a variety of sources. These pieces degrade and breakdown into ever smaller pieces while leaching toxins and adsorbing persistent organic pollutants. As these pieces become smaller, they are ingested by a wide array of creatures in Vermont’s marine ecosystem and can end up in our human food chain. It is a real ticking time bomb. Trash and marine debris collection and removal is a critical issue for our freshwater and all marine environments."

Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean Founder, James Lyne, states, "Our rivers, lakes and oceans are being poisoned and choked by marine debris. It is great that the Cleaning Vermont's Waterway's program is showing the world how government at the state and federal level, in partnership with a nonprofit like the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean and with the support of local businesses, organizations and volunteers, can successfully tackle a major environmental problem to make a significant positive impact on the health of Vermont's waterways - one piece of trash at time."

To submit a Vermont waterway (brook, stream, pond, lake) site in need of cleanup, please contact: Patty Leclair, Volunteer & Logistics Coordinator by email: or visit

SOURCE:  Patty Leclair, and Brigid Meehan-Brese of the Rozalia Project (non-profit org.), and Green Up Vermont (nonprofit org.).

Photo from left to right: Bernie Paquette, Will Bowley, and S.B. resident and volunteers Amy and Eva Demetrowitz.


Photo from left to right: Will Bowley, Patty Leclair and S.B. resident and volunteers Amy and Eva Demetrowitz.

VT LEG #287376 v.1

State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Concurrent House Resolution

H.C.R. 35

House concurrent resolution commending watershed organizations for their role in river and lake cleanup

activities in Vermont

Offered by: Representatives Townsend of South Burlington and Deen of Westminster

Whereas, clean water is essential to Vermonters’ personal health and the health of our economy and

environment, and

Whereas, water-based recreation is a vital aspect of our State’s identity as a major recreational activity

among Vermonters and visitors to our state, and

Whereas, polluted waters are not accessible waters, do not support aquatic life, and imperil public health, and

Whereas, it is important to improve continuously the quality of Vermont’s waters, and

Whereas, a number of watershed organizations working in Vermont are engaged in efforts to rid Vermont’s

waters of natural and human-originated debris, and

Whereas, in 2012, one watershed organization, the Rozalia Project, directed a project involving 1,430

participants who picked up 503,317 pieces of marine debris, equaling 88.5 tons from 310 miles of Vermont’s

shoreline, and

Whereas, the Connecticut River Watershed Council mobilized over 1,000 persons and removed over 99 tons

of trash from the Connecticut River and its tributaries, and

Whereas, these are just examples of the outstanding cleanup work that watershed groups are performing, and

Whereas, these groups deserve legislative recognition for their dedication to this worthy endeavor, now

therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly commends watershed organizations for their role in river and lake cleanup

activities in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Rozalia Project in

Granville and to the Connecticut River Watershed Council Inc. in Greenfield, Massachusetts on behalf of its

cooperating Vermont organizations, including, Black River Action Team, Braintree Conservation

Commission, Farm & Wilderness, Grafton Nature Museum, Greater Upper Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited,

Putney Rowing Club, Randolph Rotary Club, Randolph Technical Career Center, Rockingham Vermont

Conservation Commission, Roundy’s Rascals, Sharon Academy, Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance,

TransCanada, Vermont Department of Labor, Vermont Law School, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and

Volunteers for Peace.

The version sent to the recipients is quite beautiful... heavy ivory paper, State Seal in color, gold seal at bottom with State Seal impressed on it.... To get an idea as to what it really looks like, go to the Legislative web site and click on "Read a specific House or Senate Resolution" and enter HCR 35 or view here

Other cleanup event and celebration postings: