By Jenna Stiek
Picture yourself in a canoe on a beautiful, clear stream setting out to enjoy a wonderful day on the river.
Did you ever ask what to do once you finish your bottle of water or can of soda while on the river? Do not worry if you rented your canoe from one of the float outfitters that participate in the Stash Your Trash Program.
You were given a red mesh litter bag. This is the perfect place to put your empties and for pieces of trash others have carelessly left behind.
In the early 1980s float outfitters Gene Maggard and Gary Smith met with concession specialist Dean Einwalter from the National Park Service (NPS) and two representatives from Anheuser-Busch in Ironton to discuss the possibility of an organized stream anti-littering program. Anhueser-Busch donated $5,000 to start the project.
In 1986, NPS, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., and float outfitters on the Current and Jacks Fork rivers implemented an “operation clean stream” effort to reduce stream litter.
In July of that year, the NPS designated the 20-mile portion of stream from Akers Ferry to Round Spring as a pilot study area. An orange nylon mesh trash sack was provided for every rental canoe.