Over 150 people met bright and early this morning to help tackle a big problem plaguing the Tar River... pollution.
Bottles, debris, and trash line the natural land surrounding the river. Members of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, Pitt County Recycling and ECU students gathered around 1,500 pounds of garbage. The PTRF sponsors the semi annual cleanup that averages around 1 1/2 tons of garbage per River Sweep.
According to Heather Deck, Tar-Pamlico River Keeper, most of the garbage that makes its way to the Tar River starts right in the heart of Greenville and surrounding areas; "Some gets dumped directly near the river or out the car window as someone passes a bridge, most of it is coming from our communities in the city areas, and so its going down the storm drains." While the Tar River is home to an array of animals, it is also where the city of Greenville gets its drinking water. David Emmerling of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation says, "This is the municipal water supply for the city of Greenville, and one of the things that's critical is to have high quality drinking water. Make sure the water that comes out of the river that gets treated for us to consume is of the best quality."
The River Sweep is held in October and April every year and volunteers are important to the cause. To learn how you can become a volunteer for the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation please visit their website at www.ptrf.org.