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Gardner/Peace River Clean-up?

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FNG

This is going out on a tangent but...Gardner is such a dump! It really ticks me off. I've been thinking about trying to round some people up for a general clean-up of a stretch of the Peace. Judging by quite a few of the people I've seen there, I wonder if it would be worth it. I know that it would , but I also know that Gardner would be back to normal the following week. Frustrating. If anyone else feels the same way and would like to try and start planning this...please let me know. I just realized that this should be a separate thread. Note to self...

 

So...This started on a separate post and thread. I know that most, if not all of us, pick up trash and haul it back to our entry point at the end of the day. I also know that we all probably see more stuff that for one reason or another is inconvenient for us to pick up at the time. Well, what if that was all that we did for one day? What if we gathered in force and sent a crew by kayak/canoe down to Brownville Park from Gardner? Or another crew from Zolfo Springs down to Gardner...or (the worst), Brownville Park to SR70 ramp?

 

That's a lot of people. Realistically, it would need to be split up into separate days unless we had sponsor help. I already feel like I'm in over my head. I know that it would take an entire platoon and an entire day to clean up the Gardner ramp area. It certainly seems like it would anyway. 

 

So, it's out there. I'm serious about doing this one way or another. But we all know that it's going to take more than just individuals picking up as they go. Clearly, a lot of people aren't pulling their weight. And a lot more just don't care. 

 

My name is Mike. We can use this thread to start getting together and take it from there.

 

 

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Sacha

I spend most of my time in Zolfo or Heard Bridge Road, but I've often thought of doing a cleanup trip as well. It really shouldn't take too many folks from each put in point and I'm willing to join a team to do this, but we only have about 4 or 5 weeks left to do it.

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FNG
6 hours ago, Sacha said:

I spend most of my time in Zolfo or Heard Bridge Road, but I've often thought of doing a cleanup trip as well. It really shouldn't take too many folks from each put in point and I'm willing to join a team to do this, but we only have about 4 or 5 weeks left to do it.

Thanks Sacha. So far there are three of us (Shellseeker). I can probably round up a few more on my end. The Peace itself isn't the hard part except for south of Brownville. That part is dirty. I can't speak for Zolfo going south to Gardner. I've gone upstream just north of Limestone Creek. The Gardner ramp is an absolute mess. That will take quite a few people and a good part of a day. I think that I'm going to try and reach out to some people that use Youtube for fossilling. Not sure how that will work out. 

 

We got our first heavy rain here in Fort Myers yesterday. I Definitely feel the deadline closing in.

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Sacha

Water visibility is really bad as well. Can't see a can on the bottom in 12 inches of water.

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FNG
1 hour ago, Sacha said:

Water visibility is really bad as well. Can't see a can on the bottom in 12 inches of water.

There are some good stretches between Limestone and Gardner where you would be lucky to have 12 inches of water. 

I was hoping to have more responses by now. Florida seems to be a slow section of this forum. People view but don't respond. 

If we can each round up a few more interested people, it won't be too bad. I was thinking that as each team (or the team) went downstream, it could sweep the visible campsites as well. 

How many we have will dictate how we attack it. That's just how it is. Are weekends the best for you?

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Sacha

No preferences on day of the week.

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Bone Daddy

The stretch that runs through Wauchula is actually worse than Gardner. It makes Gardner seem like a sterile operating room by comparison. I have never seen as much trash in the river as I did around Wauchula. It was disgusting and dangerous. Thankfully I was wearing cut-resistant gloves, because every hole I reached into had more broken glass in it than teeth or pebbles.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with you about cleaning up the river, but I think Gardner (and Wauchula) is a lost cause - the locals are mostly to blame. They live in trashy homes with trashy yards and drive trashy vehicles - the trash comes with the lifestyle. You could clean up the entire ramp area and within 3-5 days, it would be littered with trash again. They just don't care. It's frustrating and unfortunate. They don't think anything of flicking their cigarette butts, tossing their beer cans, peeing in plain sight, and generally throwing waste in every direction seemingly for kicks. If I can get away from Gardner without having my truck broken into I consider that a success.

 

Having said all of that, it is a snarge shame. I have found some good fossils around Gardner and there are some nice spots there - once you get away from the frequently-hunted zones up and downstream of the ramp.

 

What we usually do (in regards to the trash and litter), we will pick it up as we go along and throw it in the bottom of the canoe (if we have the canoe and not the kayaks) - then dispose of it properly on the way home in a dumpster somewhere. Sometimes we pull out more trash than fossils. We try to do our part, but it's like urinating into the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

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FNG
On 5/10/2018 at 4:27 PM, Bone Daddy said:

The stretch that runs through Wauchula is actually worse than Gardner. It makes Gardner seem like a sterile operating room by comparison. I have never seen as much trash in the river as I did around Wauchula. It was disgusting and dangerous. Thankfully I was wearing cut-resistant gloves, because every hole I reached into had more broken glass in it than teeth or pebbles.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with you about cleaning up the river, but I think Gardner (and Wauchula) is a lost cause - the locals are mostly to blame. They live in trashy homes with trashy yards and drive trashy vehicles - the trash comes with the lifestyle. You could clean up the entire ramp area and within 3-5 days, it would be littered with trash again. They just don't care. It's frustrating and unfortunate. They don't think anything of flicking their cigarette butts, tossing their beer cans, peeing in plain sight, and generally throwing waste in every direction seemingly for kicks. If I can get away from Gardner without having my truck broken into I consider that a success.

 

Having said all of that, it is a snarge shame. I have found some good fossils around Gardner and there are some nice spots there - once you get away from the frequently-hunted zones up and downstream of the ramp.

 

What we usually do (in regards to the trash and litter), we will pick it up as we go along and throw it in the bottom of the canoe (if we have the canoe and not the kayaks) - then dispose of it properly on the way home in a dumpster somewhere. Sometimes we pull out more trash than fossils. We try to do our part, but it's like urinating into the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

I haven't been up that way. I've only been just north of Limestone Creek. That does sound bad...almost intentional.

 

It is the locals at Gardner. I'm sure that some non-locals litter as well but the problem is definitely home grown. I've had some of the kids that were partying offer to help me with my kayak at the end of the day. But then again, they were bagging their trash.

 

It is literally a dump. 

 

Well, so far I have three from TFF including myself. Would you care to make that four? I'm going to try and set a date within a week or so. I was hoping some others would join. I have some other thoughts on how to attack the problem. We shall see how that turns out. 

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Bone Daddy
49 minutes ago, FNG said:

I haven't been up that way. I've only been just north of Limestone Creek. That does sound bad...almost intentional.

 

It is the locals at Gardner. I'm sure that some non-locals litter as well but the problem is definitely home grown. I've had some of the kids that were partying offer to help me with my kayak at the end of the day. But then again, they were bagging their trash.

 

It is literally a dump. 

 

Well, so far I have three from TFF including myself. Would you care to make that four? I'm going to try and set a date within a week or so. I was hoping some others would join. I have some other thoughts on how to attack the problem. We shall see how that turns out. 

 

In hindsight, I realize I sounded judgemental in that post about the locals. I should point out that not everyone is like that. I am sure some of the locals respect the river and the land, but a few bad apples can make everybody look bad. I never once feared for my safety around Gardner, but I did have a little worry in the back of my mind about my truck back at the ramp (which has turned out to be unfounded).

 

Wauchula is a product of the proximity of development. There are a lot of homes right along the water through Wauchula and more development in general. There was also more boat traffic (mostly fishermen). So anywhere you have more traffic, there is going to be more litter. Having said that, I have hunted on the Peace as far north as Bartow and as far south as Gardner with most spots in between, including Bowling Green, Fort Meade, Zolfo Springs, etc - and Wauchula was the stretch with the most trash in the river and along the banks. Anywhere there was a snag in the water, there was trash caught up in it. I saw a chest freezer, a toddler's plastic tricycle (which was a little disturbing, given the context), diapers, fast food packaging, plastic bottles, plastic bags, bits of styrofoam, and the usual flotsam. It was disheartening. We didn't expend much energy trying to pick it up - there was too much and you didn't know where to start. So, we just focused on scouting, digging, snorkeling, sifting. We did find some good bones, but not many big teeth.

I wish I could get out more, but I haven't been out this season yet (and I know the window is closing), and my schedule and weather haven't cooperated. I wish you luck if you get something going to clean up the river, and I will do my part to help keep it clean (I strictly observe "leave no trace"). But I doubt I will be able to attend a planned meet-up any time real soon.....

 

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FNG
17 minutes ago, Bone Daddy said:

I wish I could get out more, but I haven't been out this season yet (and I know the window is closing), and my schedule and weather haven't cooperated. I wish you luck if you get something going to clean up the river, and I will do my part to help keep it clean (I strictly observe "leave no trace"). But I doubt I will be able to attend a planned meet-up any time real soon.....

 

Thanks anyway. I had to try. So few even respond. 

 

I don't think that you are that far off. There are a lot of bad apples from what I have seen. 

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Brown Bear

In low-water season I will be back down that way. I always carry a trash bag on all hunts to carry away as much trash as I find.

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