Saturday was a beautiful day to clean up the river and we had an outpouring of support across all of the towns. Last year weather made the cleanup a bit of a wash (if you’ll pardon the pun) but a combination of heavy floods in the spring with drought conditions heading into fall appeared to have exposed a whole new layer junk for us to attack. (It’s rather sad when you think about it…)
A more complete gallery of images from the day can be found at: [url]http://community.dmg-photography.com/2010-assabet-cleanup/[/url]
I did my best to visit the teams in Concord, Acton, Maynard, and Hudson. (I didn’t have time to visit the team in Stow or the groups in Northborough). The morning started in Concord with Betsy Stokey (recovering from a recently shattered knee) organized the teams that were going to attack the Nashoba Brook, just above its confluence with the Assabet.
No sooner did the teams get into the shallow water that a steady “clunking” sound rose as bottle after bottle (along with plenty of other junk) was pulled from the streambed and placed into the boats.
For whatever reason “glass” was the theme this year — we were pulling out bottles and other containers by the hundreds.
Tires never fail to make an appearance in the cleanup. Another sad legacy of days gone by.
This chunk of steel was so large it took 3 people to haul it to the dumpster.
Next up Acton…
Most of the Acton teams were too far up or downstream from the put-in for me to photograph them in my alloted time. There seemed to be a lot of construction debris in this stretch of the river – implying that even today people are still treating the river as a disposal ground.
Above, Bob Guba, Acton Team Leader, directs another team to a cache of tires that has been discovered.
Next we headed to Maynard…
Jim McCann empties a boat-load of debris taken from the river bed behind the Maynard Elks Club.
While these volunteers bring another full load to the offloading point.
Another group in Maynard worked behind the Powdermill Circle area.
With no lack of tires there either.
With just an hour left in our cleanup, I headed to Hudson.
And as you can see — plenty more junk to retrieve. There were several teams in town and I managed to get some photos of the groups at Wheeler Road.
At noon the cleanup wound down and the teams slowly arrived at spots in each town to wash up and get some pizza.
Here a team from Intel grab a bite after pulling hundreds of pounds of glass, tires, and other debris from the river in Hudson.
As president of the Organization for the Assabet River I’m simply overwhelmed each year with the support we get from the people and businesses that are willing to roll up their sleeves, jump into the water and get dirty with the goal of a cleaner Assabet River for future generations. This year proved that despite 24 years of doing this, often in the same spots, there is plenty of work left. Face it, 100 hours of intense cleanup is just a nibble at the 100+ years of treating the river as a waste disposal area – but each year we get a little bit closer and that makes it all worth while.
(My deep thanks to Julia Khorana and all of the OAR staff, directors, and site coordinators who made this event successful, fun, and safe for all!)
Oh yea, technical stuff:
It was terrible harsh light all morning. Perfect for everyone working, except me.
Canon 5D Mark 2 with 24-70mm f/2.8L, on a monopod. Shot stills and video clips (which I hope to assemble into a short YouTube video in the next couple of days).
Canon 7D with the 70-200mm f/2.8L, handheld. Both cameras had a polarizing filter on, for both improved water color saturation and to keep the apertures reasonable for video.
All of the images above were processed by Lightroom had most have some exposure tweaking to smooth out the lights and darks created by the harsh lighting. Come to think of it I forgot to add clarity and vibrance… (I’ll fix that in the forthcoming gallery.)
Because I was moving from deep shade to blistering sunshine, most of the time I shot with Auto-ISO, and either Av or Manual (for video).