(2010 Duwamish Alive! photo by Cliff DesPeaux for WSB)
Whether you paddle on the river, or walk into the watershed, there’s a multitude of ways you can help during the twice-yearly Duwamish Alive! cleanup next Saturday. All ages welcome! Choose a volunteer site here – or read on for details in the official announcement:
Environmental forces will join together at the semi-annual Duwamish Alive! river restoration event on Saturday, October 20th. Starting at 10:00 am, volunteers will roll up their sleeves at multiple sites along Seattle’s industrialized watershed to perform cleanup and restoration work in the ongoing effort to keep Seattle’s only river alive.
Duwamish Alive! brings together more than 30 conservation groups, businesses, and government entities, organizing hundreds of volunteers to work at 6 sites in the river’s lower watershed.
Work sites include a river cleanup by kayak and canoe, shoreline salmon habitat restoration, and native forest revitalization. Families, company groups, clubs, individuals, schools, fraternities and sororities are encouraged to participate, and no experience is necessary.
These volunteer restoration projects complement government efforts to clean up the contaminated sediments at the bottom of the Duwamish River. Improvements in the health of the river will benefit people and wildlife, including threatened salmon on the Green/Duwamish River.
At the Brandon Street Natural Area in West Seattle, volunteers will be cleaning up and restoring the Longfellow Creek watershed. Activities will include the removal of invasive plant species, such as Blackberry and English Ivy. Volunteers will also work to spread mulch, which will help improve soil health. Volunteers will be working with the King Conservation District, which is an organization that works to promote the sustainable uses of natural resources through responsible stewardship.
“The King Conservation District has been working to restore the Brandon Street Natural Area for the last 6+ years. All the work has been accomplished with the help of volunteers from several companies, schools and individuals. The cleaner water coming out of this urban forest will help improve the health of Puget Sound,” said Adam Jackson, Resource Specialist with the King Conservation District.
At Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park, volunteers take to the river in kayaks and small boats to remove marine debris and plastics which are harmful to both water quality and marine life. Also at this site, volunteers will conduct park beautification and pick up trash in the surrounding neighborhood. Working at Duwamish Waterway Park are Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Alki Kayak Tours, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle.
“The trash found by these hard-working volunteers along the shoreline of the Duwamish is always interesting,” said Barbara Owens, Pollution Prevention Program Manager for Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. “Last April, more than 1600 pounds of litter was removed from the river in just four hours, including rope, tires, rusty metal, soccer balls and a large stuffed teddy bear. Community members express their appreciation when they see the piles volunteers have removed from their river.”
Another large project will take place at the West Duwamish Greenbelt site in the Delridge neighborhood, where volunteers working with EarthCorps and Nature Consortium will improve Seattle’s largest urban forest through removal of invasive plants and native tree care.
The workday at all 6 sites begins at 10 AM and concludes at 2 PM. Refreshments, tools, and instructions will be provided. All ages and abilities welcomed. Children under 10 must have 1-to-1 supervision.
To volunteer, visit DuwamishAlive.org and RSVP to the contact for the site you choose, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (206) 923-0853.