On the Ground: River stewards remove trash from the Manistee River in another successful cleanup event

A group of volunteers prepares to head to their cleanup site alongside USFS Recreation Planner, Reese Borlin.

On Saturday, July 15, 2023, 55 On the Ground (OTG) volunteers gathered at the High Bridge Boat Launch in Brethren to clean-up trash from the Manistee River by boat, kayak, and on foot. Those with boats welcomed others onto the water and worked together to gather trash from Rainbow Bend in Manistee to Tippy Dam in Brethren.

In total, volunteers removed approximately 400 hundred of pounds of trash including fishing line, rusty chain, bed frames, treated wood, and abandoned buoys. They hauled all of this waste back to the High Bridge Boat Launch where it was properly disposed of in a dumpster provided by

Michigan DNR’s Adopt-a-Forest program. By removing trash from the river and surrounding public land, volunteers improved over 15 river miles of fish and wildlife habitat. They also helped make the river safer for anglers and other river recreationists!

Cleanup volunteers show off their new OTG t-shirts at High Bridge Boat Launch in Brethren.

Thank you to our project partners and sponsors, Steelhead Manifesto, USFS Cadillac-Manistee Ranger District, Michigan DNR Adopt-a-Forest, and Great Lakes Great Responsibility. Also thanks to MSU Extension Mobile Boat Wash crew for educating us about aquatic invasive species!

Our next OTG project will be planting mast-producing trees and shrubs in the Garden Grade Grouse Enhanced Management Site (GEMS) in Delta County. Check out the OTG webpage at mucc.org/on-the-ground/ for upcoming events and volunteer registration.

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