Kings River Clean Up

March 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Close to 1,000 volunteers showed up in Lemoore for the first ever coordinated mass clean up the Kings river.They criss-crossed Kings County, targeting five locations along the river. What was found was lots of trash that could potentially ruin the environment.

Lemoore Naval Officer Leesa Castelly from Palm Beach, Florida is disgusted with the shabby condition of the Kings River. "Yeah it's bad, it's really bad to see this," she said.

Castelly and nearly 1,000 volunteers along with water conservationists filled bag after bag of trash along the river in Kings County Saturday morning. Volunteers said what they found was eye-opening. Couches, trash bags, tires, sleeping bags and televisions.

"These are things that contaminate the water," said Kings County Sheriff Chris Jordan.

Jordan is concerned pollutants dumped in the river will cause irreversible damage to crops.

On Sunday water will be released from the Pine Flat Dam heading towards farmers dealing with bone-dry land.

Jordan said: "It causes damage to our flow of water in order to get clean water to our crops to eat healthy food."

All the collected trash ends up at a dump site off Lemoore Naval Base. So all those discarded TV's, batteries and tires are ending up in one of two large receptacles. Clean up officials expect to pick up anywhere from 60-70 tons of trash.

One student said: "It's like, 'Haven't you ever heard of a trash can?'

McLane High school freshman Maliwan Xiong said it would take many more Saturdays to clean up the mess found here. "If we get more people maybe we can make even a bigger difference," she said.

Organizers want to double the number of volunteers next year. The plan is making Kings river clean up an annual event.

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