BEND, OR -- Even with more river usage, it appears less trash is ending up in the Deschutes.
Kolleen Miller with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council tells KBND News 15 divers took part in Saturday’s annual clean-up, the most since 2019, “We have some divers who have been with us every year since, gosh, I think 2010. ...Based on what they've seen, what they've found, what they've experienced pulling out of the river. There's definitely less in-stream debris than they've seen in the past… So that was very encouraging for us.”
“The city of Bend deposited 1,960 pounds of garbage, which also included litter and weeds from the stream banks to the landfill. It's two full large dump trucks,” said Miller, adding the annual event saw one of its best-ever volunteer turn-outs with 240 people collecting mostly bottles, cans, and sunglasses at La Pine and Tumalo State Parks, 1st Street trail, Farewell Bend Park, and River Bend Park.
Miller points to the Watershed Council’s Enjoy-Protect-Respect awareness campaign as one of the ways helping responsible river usage, “There are definitely more folks using the river, recreating on and around the river than ever before. That's based on, of course, just our community observations. But also, the Bend Park District does their best to track the number of floaters. It seems like people are either just recreating more responsibly or just paying a little bit more attention to what they're bringing with them when they are floating on the river.”