Shuswap River not garbage can

The Shuswap River is not only a critically important ecosystem, it’s increasingly a vital part of the economy.

The Shuswap River is not only a critically important ecosystem, it’s increasingly a vital part of the economy.

Thousands of people make their way to Enderby every year to float along the river in tubes, or to boat, swim or kayak.

However, the fun in the sun is taking its toll on the river as recreational users leave piles of trash behind.

“There seems to be an escalation,” said Corinne Van De Crommenacker, Enderby Chamber of Commerce general manager.

“We want people to use the river respectfully. We don’t want the river to turn into something ugly.”

Left floating in the water or sinking to the bottom are bicycles, abandoned tubes, hats, sandals and beverage containers. Some of these items make their way into Mara and Shuswap lakes.

None of this waste is biodegradable so it will likely stay in the water or on the shoreline — contaminating an environment home to salmon and assorted other wildlife, as well as a source of drinking water.

Garbage cans are located at all of the hand-launch sites and even if you can’t find a trash can, you have the ability to pack the item into the river with you, so take it back home with you.

It’s not up to residents along the river to clean up after you.

We need to remain vigilant with our environmental footprint or the very reasons that make the Shuswap River attractive to so many people will disappear.

“We need to be respectful of the river so  future generations will be able to appreciate the beauty of the river,” said Van De Crommenacker.

–Vernon Morning Star