By Blake Visin
IS Director at ReWa
That’s exactly what Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) has done for the past 20 years; we’ve adopted a 1.5 mile stretch of the Reedy River that flows from Interstate 85 through the Mauldin Road facility to the adjacent Conestee Foundation’s property. Additionally, over the last ten years, Boy Scout Troop 421 has participated in a ‘minisweep’ of the one mile section of Brushy Creek that flows into the Reedy on the Mauldin Road campus.
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and S.C. Department of Natural Resources organize the statewide event, which is held in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Anyone can participate – individuals, families, schools, youth groups, civic and conservation clubs or businesses. Each year, the 3rd Saturday of September is the offi cial sweep day covering lakes, streams, rivers, and ocean fronts across the state. This past year, 2013, was the 25th anniversary of this event with roughly 5000 participants statewide.
During the inaugural years of ReWa’s Reedy River Sweep, our team collected up to two tons of trash and an average of 200 tires per year. It is estimated that ReWa’s efforts have removed over 2,000 tires from just one section of the Reedy River; an astonishing number that thankfully has dropped dramatically in the past two years.
Other local organizations have participated in this annual event throughout the years. Greenville Technical College has offered extra credit in certain classes for assisting with their sweep on their part of the Reedy River that flows along campus. Their first year, they had almost 100 participants. ‘Friends of the Reedy’ focus their attention on the downtown area of Greenville including Cleveland Park, and include Boy Scout Troops that express an interest. The ‘Save Our Saluda’ members have their sweep on the Middle Saluda River. Several other groups, such as the Conestee Foundation, host similar events with the common goal of protecting and improving the water quality in the Upstate.
We are fortunate in South Carolina to have such a vast amount of wonderful aquatic resources. We are home to a diverse wildlife population. However, if we don’t care for our natural resources, they simply won’t be there. Can you imagine a future in which your children or grandchildren won’t be able to enjoy our beaches, lakes, rivers and streams?
So plan ahead, the 3rd Saturday in September, and get involved in this rewarding activity. The returns are immediate and the example you set will last even longer.