2016-04-14 / Nature

Volunteers Purge Bailey Brook

by Olga Enger

In addition to dozens of adult volunteers, some energetic Girl Scouts also joined in the efforts of Clean Ocean Access’s most recent cleanup. (Photo provided by Dave McLaughlin)In addition to dozens of adult volunteers, some energetic Girl Scouts also joined in the efforts of Clean Ocean Access’s most recent cleanup. (Photo provided by Dave McLaughlin)A group of volunteers recently soldiered through heavy rain and chilly temperatures in an effort to protect a local watershed.

Almost 50 people worked for five hours on April 2, collecting 2,880 pounds of garbage from the Bailey Brook area between Shaws and BJ’s. The debris was impacting the water flow, local habitat and the overall ecosystem of the brook, which is a main watershed that provides drinking water for Aquidneck Island.

Throughout the day, the group pulled grocery carts, tires, chairs, mattresses and plastics from the water, in addition to hundreds of cups, bottles, and chips of paint.  

The nonprofit Clean Ocean Access (COA) coordinated the event, in partnership with Salve Regina University, the Aquidneck Land Trust and the Town of Middletown.

COA Executive Director David McLaughlin said the local water-shed would also benefit from small changes.

“Each person can start at home by conserving water. Drink as much as you need to stay hydrated, but take shorter showers and never keep the water running while you brush your teeth,” he said.  

For lawn care, McLaughlin suggested installing rain barrels to catch rainwater for garden and plants.

“Grow more bushes and trees, which absorb more water, pro-duce more oxygen, and reduce the size of your lawn. Don’t use pesticides or weed killer, and if you have to fertilize, be smart about it and don’t overfeed your plants,” said McLaughlin.

COA’s next cleanup is at Fort Adams on Saturday, April 16 from  noon - 2 p.m., and then another along Cliff Walk on April 23.

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