Dealing with river trash

Durango Telegraph by Missy Votel

Summer flows on the Animas have receded, but the trashed remains from one of the busiest river seasons in memory have hit an all-time high. At least that’s the feeling among several local river users who say unprecedented recreational use of the river this summer has taken its toll, and they are asking the city to step in.

“This was the busiest year I can remember in terms of boaters, and more importantly, tubers,” said Ty Churchwell, president of the Five Rivers Branch of Trout Unlimited. “And the trash along the river shows it.”

A member of the city’s Animas River Task Force, an advisory committee to the Durango City Council, Churchwell and other members of the Task Force met with the city this week to discuss options for alleviating the trash problem, most notably beer cans, bottles, orphaned flip flips, Styrofoam coolers, and popped tubes and other miscellaneous discarded river craft

“It’s on the minds of everyone on the task force, and we want to ask the city about what can be done,” he said.