River Cleanup

Volunteers drop off an old refrigerator at Fred’s on the River during a river cleanup on Saturday, Aug. 10.

The litter pickup on Nov. 16 is about more than just an aesthetic.

It’s about more than just saying ‘I’m going to improve my community.’

Participation in the event comes with the understanding that by picking up trash and making sure that garbage does not reach storm drains, culverts, subsurface drainage implements, creeks, and rivers – participants are helping improve upon a problem that has been brought to the forefront since the Great Flood.

Drainage.

Living in the south brings rain, especially now during the summer. Heavy downpours drop six inches in just a few hours, backing up roads and streets as storm drains overflow. Many times, that overflow is caused by litter and debris blocking the water from escaping and moving down the line.

Or, the water just drags it into the larger tributaries – including the Amite.

Since the Great Flood, the talk has been drainage, drainage, and more drainage. How to fix what we have? How to improve it?

There’s an easy answer to both of those questions, and it starts by taking care of the area around you. That one shipping box sitting by the roadside after you emptied it could block a culvert two streets down from you, causing that house to flood.

Seem ridiculous? It isn’t, it happened in Denham Springs. A shipping box flowed six houses down and was sucked onto a storm drain in a front yard. More rain fell, and eventually about three inches made it into a nearby home.

Once the box was removed? The water disappeared even quicker than it came, but the damage was done.

Work to stop that before it happens, save that home before it has to go through a remediation process; remove that garbage before it piles up on the Amite and an 8-hour cleanup day produces 500 bags of garbage, plus more large junk than you can imagine.

Because it’s not just about caring for the place in which you live, this goes beyond that now – litter is a functional piece of the drainage puzzle in Livingston Parish, and Livingston Parish has a litter problem.

So be a part of the solution to our drainage issues, not a part of the problem.

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