Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LETTER: Hurricane Creek cleanup on April 12

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:28 p.m.
Strokers Paddle Club 21 years ago.
Dear Editor: Twenty-one years ago, a small group of paddlers decided to get the litter out of Hurricane Creek in Tuscaloosa County. That was the first cleanup hosted by the Strokers Paddle Club and “The Friends of Hurricane Creek.”
The Strokers were the host. The Friends of Hurricane Creek were made up of the civic groups and donors who made that first one possible.

What started as a litter pick-up has grown into a long-term local organization and one of the most well-known advocacy groups in the country. Working with such groups as the Citizens Coal Council, we learned the legal avenues available to clean up most of the coal waste that was causing detrimental effects on the fish and other biota in the creek. Now, the creek is teeming with many species that have returned since.

Ten years ago, we became the 121st Waterkeeper Alliance program, a national federation of groups like ours around the world. As the Hurricane Creekkeeper program grew, so did the positive effects on the watershed. Either through negotiations or litigation, the impact has been tremendous. We prefer working with developers as partners as we have recently at Hurricane Creek Trace, a development that received our 2013 Environmental Stewardship Award.

The 21st annual Hurricane Creek cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. on April 12. Our partner this year is the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority. Join us at the Hurricane Creek Park at 9 a.m. on Alabama Highway 216. Recycle bins will be available.

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