Scientists clean up local wetlands clogged with trash

JACKSON, Tenn. — State agencies spend Monday cleaning out streams, basins and wetlands clogged by trash.

Each year around Earth Day, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation picks a project to focus on.

“We have to get this cleared up today, so we’re working with the Department of Environment and Conservation, the Jackson field office, so we’ve got probably 20 or 30 people out here,” West Tennessee River Basin Agency Executive Director David Salyers said.

“Make this place safe for nature, for the animals — we’ve encountered several snakes today,” Sue Verbiest with TDEC said. “Other birds and wildlife really don’t need to mix with human trash.”

You never know what you might find when you’re wading through these areas.

“They could be driving down Highway 45 or anywhere near here and throw out a piece of trash, and with storm water and the rain runoff, it ends up in our streams,” environmental scientist April Caudill said.

Scientists encourage others to empty trash at convenient centers to keep it from getting swept away by flood waters.

This project was sponsored by the city of Jackson, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the West Tennessee River Basin Agency.

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