Wilderness Systems & Adventure Technology pro staff JD Desrosiers had the opportunity to participate in a cleanup on beautiful Lake Keowee in South Carolina on Saturday, September 20th, 2014. Here's his report:
This past Saturday, we headed out to Lake Keowee to participate in the SCDNR Beach Sweep/River Sweep. Organized by SC Sea Grant Consortium in partnership with the SC Department of Natural Resources the cleanup is the largest one-day litter cleanup of South Carolina's beaches and waterways. Every third Saturday in September thousands of volunteers amass to clear trash from beaches, rivers, lakes, marshes, and swamps. I was able to organize a group of 12 fellow paddlers - we had 2 canoes and 10 kayaks out on the water! If you've never been to Lake Keowee, you'd be in for a pleasant surprise as the waters are Caribbean-blue with waterfalls dotting the shoreline. During the cleanup, we were able to fill up 3 industrial size trash bags in just a few hours. The area we concentrated on was the popular Falls Creek Landing on the northwest side of the lake. From a distance the area looked fairly clean, but once we started and got off of the beaten path we found some really messy and heavily trashed areas. One particular spot that we spent around 30 minutes on was a fire pit that was totally trashed. The before and after pictures are like night and day. Leaving that day, I just couldn't bring myself to understand what would posses someone to trash public lands. We at Wilderness Systems feel it is very important to preserve the waterways for the future generations.