City of Fishers continues efforts to clean up local waterways

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The city of Fishers is working to help clean up the local water supply. As part of its ongoing efforts, a Geist Reservoir cleanup is scheduled for Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. hosted by Corporate Blitz and the city of Fishers.

All residents are invited to spend a day on the reservoir while helping cleanup the reservoir. Volunteers can bring their own boat or rent one from the marina at a discounted rate, breakfast and water will be provided.

A similar event was held Aug. 27 at the White River that runs through Conner Prairie in Fishers. Nearly 100 volunteers brought in about 100 tires and 10 cubic yards of trash, according to the Fishers Dept. of Public Works.

The city’s cleanup efforts continued Sept. 7-8 at the Water Summit, hosted by the White River Alliance at the Athenaeum in downtown Indianapolis, where leaders from across the state were invited to examine issues that face the water supply in Indiana.

Megan Baumgartner, director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Fishers, was one of the speakers on the first day. She gave a presentation entitled “Regional River Partnerships in Indiana – Two Examples of ‘How-to’ White River – READI Grant & River Ridge Development Authority.”

People to get involved with cleaning up water supply in the area are also invited to volunteer with the river assessment field teams through the White River Alliance to help test water samples and determine the quality of the water by testing for pollution and measuring trends over time. Those events happen once a month on a Sunday from noon-4 p.m. and targets one of three areas along the White River in Marion and Hamilton County. For more, visit thewhiteriveralliance.org.

Jill Hoffmann, executive director of the White River Alliance, said that while a majority of the bigger trash items have been removed from the river, there is still a need for cleanup events to serve as maintenance to clean up the smaller trash. She also said that moving forward the biggest challenge will be getting people to understand what they can do on a household level to produce less waste going into the river.

Hoffman said the best way to help clean up the water supply is for people to be mindful of their trash output. She also recommends people check out the White River Alliance’s action pledge, called “Clear choices, clean water,” that helps people understand how their actions affect the environment of the river.

“At the end of the day, we wouldn’t have to do as much cleanup if people understood that the storm drains outside of their home or at the shopping center all runs directly to the river without any treatment,” Hoffmann said. “Behavior change is probably the most important thing because that’s what contributes to what ends up (in the river). So if we’re cleaning up at the river, or testing the water, by then it’s too late, the pollutants have already been there. So, the most important thing we could get people to do is take some of those action pledges and really pay more attention.”

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