Project Clean Stream – 4/06/2013

We worked at the Loch Raven Reservoir, trash was located

We worked at the Loch Raven Reservoir, washed up trash was located on shore…

ALL STREAMS LEAD TO THE CHESAPEAKE BAY!  At least around here they do.  Check out the amazing size of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed on their site.

...then gathered by mountain bikers, with the help of local high school students...

…then gathered by mountain bikers, with the help of local high school students..

...then hauled out by bike, for the city to pick up

…then hauled out by bike, for the city to pick up


Even during our Voyage on the road we knew what was going on in Baltimore.  We arrived home just in time to participate April 6 in one of my favorite local causes.  Mountain bikers have issues.  We love the outdoors, we love the trails.  We even get along with most other users, despite the “Mountain-Dew” commercial image of flying muddied bikers wreaking caffeinated havoc on  downhills with jumps and loud thrashing.  We recognize everyone’s right to be out there enjoying the same places we love.  Managing this and supporting sustainable trails is important.  Another issue is trail access, in this we have an international ally.  IMBA is the International Mountain Biking Association, who educate riders and agencies as well as provide advocacy.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide.
Who else was out there this April ?: Chesapeake Bay Foundation picture (see the link below)

Who else was out there this April ?: Chesapeake Bay Foundation picture (see the link below)

Other groups are out there too.  Getting along and aligning missions gets more done.   Gladly we don’t have to work against each other even though there have been historic cases of one trail user wishing the others would go away.  No, today there is actually coordination going on.  MORE is the region’s mountain bike club, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts.


Project Clean Stream is an annual event including Bluewater Baltimore, MORE, The Alliance for the Bay and other groups.  They have been making it easier for individuals to have an impact for years.  All we have to do is call, or email, then SHOW UP.  Our “little” Bay is impacted by citizens hundreds of miles away in 6 states.  Maryland of course, but also Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, DC, and even all the way up there in New York.  Check out some local links:

Project Clean Stream

Chesapeake Bay Net

Save Our Streams, MD Chapter

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Some good news at Chesapeake Bay Foundation

I think my favorite part of all this is that in the frustrating world of decay and negativity, we are making a difference.  We are making progress!  I was born in the early 60’s and remember some dead streams I played in as a little boy.  I remember our old stinking Inner Harbor.  I’ve read and SEEN that there are rivers and streams now, that are healthier now than then.  I’ve seen crayfish, a fragile sign of stream health, thriving where once were murky, stagnant and lifeless trickles of a stream. It has been in our lifetime that we learned how small the Earth really is.  It has been in our lifetime that we construct fewer concrete culverts and actually encourage streams to slow down and add life to the water and those who live nearby.  It has been in our lifetime that we’ve begun taking steps to preserve our habitat.

I am impressed and encouraged to be a small part of our World.  Like the Elephant Parade (posted last week in Wow, Now What?), I am finding my place in a city, finding my place in the working world again.  Enjoy the wiki of ecology: the relationships of living things.

Wiki ecology

6 responses to “Project Clean Stream – 4/06/2013

    • Thanks Kyle, as I said to another comment, I haven’t found my “bigger impact yet”. Wherever it may be?
      I think my most rewarding volunteer activity was the kid I met through Big Brothers Big Sisters. We had fun together, biked, built a model, he learned to ski, saw that adults can have a blast, went to yardsales and bought, then filled a toolbox! I think it may be time to do that again. The commitment is 2 hours twice a month for a year. We spent far more than that with laughter and a little help during his tough times.

  1. It makes me so sad whenever I see trash like this. I’ve also dragged tires out of the ocean and picked up all kinds of plastic trash from the beach. So true that streams lead to the ocean and all of it needs to be cleaned up. Thank you for getting out there and making a difference.

  2. I used to do that with you. Good for you for getting out there!

    I have another hobby scratching at my heels these days. I want to get back into mtb’ing this year, but I wonder if can break away from the other “monkey on my back”.

    • Doug, we miss ya’ man. Look forward to biking gently soon. Any new endeavor takes more time and energy than it will once established. I laugh at myself when I shun new toys, sports or games. Never pursued rock climbing; more gear, more time…blah blah blah (would have balanced the leg sport a bit though). We have very casually taken on the toy kayak. It is a relaxing place to take pictures from and gives a nice low, waterline perspective. We saw a bald eagle above Lake Roland, just didn’t get a shot off quickly enough to share the view.

  3. Sheila, thanks for the “cred.” I do have to admit though, that while picking up trash i always think that it is only a “visible” problem. It only affects we who look at it. The “real” pollution creeps from industry and agriculture. Perhaps the best thing would be to become a political advocate, Greenpeace warrior, or some other thorn in someone’s side!
    I am game to lay down in front of a bulldozer-I just haven’t figured out which one yet.

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