EPA grant will fund programs to mitigate trash problem in Dog River watershed

Local News

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Trash along Dog River has been a problem for years. The litter comes from upstream as trash flows from parking lots and storm drains into waterways like Eslava Creek. When there is significant rainfall, all that trash flows into Dog River. We could see it this weekend with a lot of rain in the forecast from Tropical Storm Barry.

Dog River Clearwater Revival is awaiting final approval on a $328,000 federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to fund programs to mitigate the litter.

“At the end of the two year grant, there will be a 50% reduction in the amount of litter that comes down the Dog River watershed,” said Debi Foster, Executive Director of the Dog River Clearwater Revival.

Right now there are three litter traps along Eslava Creek, which flows into the river. There is a large one that is maintained by the city and two smaller ones that are designed and maintained by the Osprey Initiative.

“We like to put the little devices out. They’re a little high maintenance. We have to keep our hands on them, but we feel that gives us a better tactical solution at the spot to keep it from ever getting into these urban waterways,” said Don Bates, owner of Osprey Initiative.

The ultimate goal is to figure out exactly where the litter is coming from and address the problem at the source.

The EPA grant money will fund several programs. More litter traps will be placed throughout the watershed following research to determine where the hot spots are. There are plans to start at program at a local high school to teach students about addressing litter issues in their community. Dog River Clearwater Revival is also working to create a device that will stop trash from falling out of truck beds.

Dog River Clearwater Revival will be working with several environmental agencies and industry leaders over the grant period.

“We will all be getting together at the end of this two year period and coming up with a comprehensive trash strategy to give to the City of Mobile,” said Foster.

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