Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Annual event plans to clean up the Saranac River

The Saranac River, which trails through the Plattsburgh State campus, is a popular place for scenic walks along the banks of the river. During the winter, after the leaves have fallen, the PSUC dorms have breathtaking views of the river.

Trout Unlimited, the PSUC men’s soccer team and Plattsburgh area volunteers will be cleaning up trash on the riverbanks and inside the river Oct. 12.

According to the group’s website, Trout Unlimited’s goal is to keep waterways cleaner to protect it for future generations.

“Environmental cleanup is an important defense in preserving the natural beauty of the environment,” the website said.

Trout Unlimited was founded in 1969 by a group of 16 fishermen on the banks of the Au Sable River near Grayling, Michigan.

After the success of the Michigan chapter, the organization formed other chapters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New York, with a chapter located in Plattsburgh.

The Saranac is viewed as an invaluable part of the area, particularly to fishers who enjoy the diverse population of fish, including northern pike, largemouth bass and pumpkinseed.

Though Trout Unlimited and the soccer team have worked together on this event for four years, beginning when Trout Unlimited reached out to the team to see if they would be interested in participating, it continues to be a success.

Over the years, PSUC men’s soccer assistant coach Geoff Spear said the groups have found many unique items in the river, including an old shopping cart, vinyl records, CDs and a half-submerged bicycle.

“Last year we found a memorial plaque of someone who used to work at the school,” Spear said.

Spear said they most often find shards of broken glass, which can be attributed to the trash that citizens throw in the water.

Head coach Chris Waterbury said he enjoys helping the community out and would like to find more ways to do so.

“Best part of it (is seeing) a hill of garbage bag upon garbage bag of trash,” Waterbury said. “You can see your results, you can see your final product.”

Anyone interested in participating in the cleanup is welcome to attend Saturday morning. The group will be meeting in the parking lot of Plattsburgh High School.

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