The DRBC’s Monitoring Advisory Coordinating Committee (MACC) and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary held their annual joint meeting on Tuesday, March 8.
I presented this slide show at the meeting to encourage DRBC and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary to begin to address plastic trash as a serious water quality challenge for the Delaware Estuary.
The Schuylkill Navy Rivers Stewards Committee held a Street Litter – River Trash workshop on 11/19/15 that included representatives from the with Philadelpha’s Streets-Water-Parks & Recreation Departments as well a number of other groups.
I presented a talk on the history of Philadelphia’s plastic litter. Here are links pdf and PowerPoint copies of my talk.
The Schuylkill River from the Girard Ave Bridge to Fairmount Dam has a significant plastic bottle accumulation along the West bank (link,link). Geomorphology can help us understand why.
The Schuylkill, like many rivers, meanders with numerous bends as it makes its way from the headwaters to the Delaware River. These bends play an important role in the shape and life of the river. Bend outside banks tends to erode while the inside banks tend to form point bars.
Let’s take a look at the Schuylkill from just upriver of Girard Ave Bridge to Fairmount Dam.
You can see 2 bends in the River, the bend near Girard Ave Bridge and the bend by Boat House Row. The mud flats on the West bank of the River by the Girard Ave. Bridge have been formed by point bar type deposition of sediment on the inner bank of the River. These mud flats have proven to be an effective natural plastic bottle trash trap, as shown in this photo of the West Bank taken on 4/11/15.
Most of these bottles have been carried by stormwater to the Schuylkill and have flowed downriver. During high flow periods some bottles accumulate along the inner curve of the River bends and get stranded when the River flow recedes.
The Girard Ave mud flats are an excellent location to monitor the Schuylkill River plastic trash load over time. The Schuylkill Navy has cleaned approximately 1,300 feet of the West bank so that future plastic accumulation rates can be measured at this location.
Philadelphia’s City council Environment committee held a hearing on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. The hearing, chaired by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, had panels on Safety, Water, Air and trash Litter.
I had the privilege to testify on trash – litter. Here is pdf file on my testimony.