How PHL Council Districts 7-8-9 Street Litter Trashes Tacony Creek Park

A major portion of Council Districts 7-8-9 street litter is being carried into Tacony Creek Park (TCP) by wind and stormwater runoff. NW Phila litter like that shown in this photo of a City stormwater inlet on Michener Ave just south of Wadsworth Ave often gets carried several miles through the sewer system before it discharges to Tacony Creek.
 Photo by Kelly O'Day
Some of this street litter gets trapped in the inlet, however, much of it flows through the City combined sewer to Rock Creek, a small tributary of the Tookany-Tacony-Frankford Creek. This photo shows the the awful creek trash conditions just down steam of Philadelphia’s T-01 Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) outfall by the Cheltenham Mall.
 Photo by Kelly O'Day
This pile of creek trash comes from Philadelphia street litter and the Cheltenham shopping malls. While Rock Creek is in Cheltenham Township, much of this creek trash will eventually be returned to Philadelphia as it is carried to Tacony Creek Park by high creek flows during major rain events.

The extensive trash discharge is the same at most City stormwater outfalls. This photo show the conditions at the City’s T-03 outfall by Cresentville Road and Hammond Ave.
This plastic trash has passed through the City’s sewer system and been discharged to a channel immediately upstream of the Tacony Creek.

District 8’s E Germantown and E Mt Airy stormwater discharge to the Tacony – Frankford Creek miles from E Mt Airy, just upstream of Juniata Park. Much of District 8’s and Phila’s plastic debris gets trapped by brush along the Juniata Golf Course, as shown in this photo.
Frankford Creek - bootle accumulation, right bank. Between Bridges 2 & 3.
Philadelphia street litter that is not trapped in our local creeks makes its way to the Delaware River and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. Philadelphia’s street litter problem needs to recognized as a environmental issue, hurting both our Parks and creeks-rivers.

City Council can do a great deal to clean-up our neighborhoods and protect Tacony Creek Park – Delaware River – Atlantic Ocean from our plastic pollution using straight forward, proven tools. I have attached an extract from a 1995 EPA Guidance Manual that outlines the steps cities like Philadelphia can take to control floatables in our creeks and rivers. Philadelphia is simply not doing enough to control litter and prevent floatable pollution.

I will be circulating this poster to neighborhood, environmental and park groups to mobilize support for eliminating Philadelphia’s plastic pollution from Tacony Creek Park.
City Councilors need to know about the deplorable conditions in Tacony Creek Park and begin to get serious about the street litter – plastic pollution problem. Please raise litter – plastic pollution with you City councilor and ask her/him to discuss their plans to address this long term chronic Philadelphia problem.

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