OPINION: Protecting river about more than appearances

Published 10:57 am Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Kentucky River is one of the state’s most critical resources, but thousands of pounds of litter still enter the waterway, washing onto its shores, threatening the environment and polluting a drinking water source for communities throughout the state, including our own.

The community is asked to take part in limiting the impact of this litter in our waterways, and encourage you to do so.

Many counties along the Kentucky River, including Clark, will participate in the annual Kentucky River Sweep again this year.

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The local event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 16, at the beach at Fort Boonesborough State Park.

The 2018 River Sweep, sponsored by the Kentucky River Authority and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, is an event for individuals and families to help clean up trash along the banks of the Kentucky River.

The cleanup project for the Ohio River and its tributaries including the Kentucky River brings thousands of volunteers to various riverbanks to collect tons of trash and debris.

Clark County Solid Waste Coordinator Gary Epperson is looking for volunteers for the annual spring cleaning project.

Next weekend, volunteers from Clark and Madison counties will meet to collect litter from the shore of the river near Fort Boonesborough State Park.

The volunteers will pick up trash along the Madison County side from the dam to the boat ramp in addition to clearing the Clark County side nearly to the bridge.

In past years, multiple dump trucks have been filled with litter collected from the banks of the river by an average of 100 volunteers. Last year, approximately 200 bags were collected locally.

Epperson hopes to see even more garbage collected this year.

Besides the aesthetic aspect, keeping the river clean is important for the wildlife and communities living nearby.

Keeping litter out of the water and off the banks of the river can prevent animals from ingesting or getting stuck in the garbage, which can be fatal.

Additionally, Clark and Madison counties draw their drinking water from the section of the river being cleaned Saturday.

The river is essentially the lifeblood of the community.

While our drinking water is filtered and tested, it is important to preserve and protect this waterway for our safety and health.

The community is encouraged to take part in the clean up effort.


Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. The board is comprised of publisher Michael Caldwell and managing editor Whitney Leggett. To inquire about a meeting with the board, contact Caldwell at 759-0095.