June 04, 2020
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Local Volunteers Help With 8th Annual Streamside Cleanup

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As the Bangor Area Storm Water Group (BASWG) winds down the 8th Annual Streamside Cleanup over 350 volunteers came together to clean up the streams in Bangor! On June 1st over 320 volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints picked up trash around Artic Brook, Capehart Brook, Meadow Brook, Penjajawoc Stream, Birch Stream, Sucker Brook, Shaw Brook, Kenduskeag Stream and the Penobscot River. On June 3rd over 20 volunteers from the “We Care Teams” from the Hilton Garden Inn, Comfort Inn and the Hampton Inn cleaned up their neighborhood in near Penjajawoc Stream.

In all enough trash was collected to fill 3 dump trucks. Some of the most interesting items found this year was a chair that had been on the Banks of the Penjajawoc so long that trees were growing up through it, to used building materials, shopping carts and used tires. However, most of the trash collected was small every-day times such as cigarette butts, food wrappers and coffee cups.

Had it not been collected, all of this litter would have been carried into our local waterways as stormwater runoff, the water that runs over the surface of the ground during rain storms. The Streamside Cleanup volunteers learned that stormwater carries other pollutants to the stream as well, such as lawn care products and pet waste, and that we can reduce stormwater pollution year round by doing things like using less fertilizer on our lawns, and picking up our pets’ waste.

This event is a coordinated regional effort to clean up our local waterways and reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The cleanup is a fun and socially rewarding event, each year focusing on the Bangor Urban Area (Bangor, Brewer, Orono, Old Town, Veazie, Hampden, and Milford). This event couldn’t have been a large success without our volunteer groups and our generous sponsors including, Lane Construction, CES INC, and Maine Air National Guard.

The BASWG would like to thank several members of Bangor’s City Staff that helped make the Bangor cleanup possible: from Public Works; Barry Spofford, Jerry Hughes and Dana Wardwell, from Parks and Recreation; Nick Lust, Dennis Pehrson, Tracy Willette, Dennis Crane and Candice Devine. And a very special thank you goes out to the Bangor International Airport staff including Robbie Beaton and Tony Caruso for the BBQ they provided to our volunteers on June 1st.

The Annual Streamside Cleanup started in 2006 as a way to comply with the Public Education and Participation requirements of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Storm Water Permit. This event is coordinated by members of the Bangor Area Storm Water Group, in conjunction with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Penobscot County Soil & Water Conservation District. All of the funds necessary to perform the event are raised locally through donations. No taxpayer funds are used for this program.