Arlington Fairfax Chapter

of the

Izaak Walton League of America

Watershed Conservation Activities


Potomac Watershed Cleanup of Mason Neck State Park

April 2, 2011 9:30 to 1:00 pm

Photo of Scott Fuller towing a canoe full of trash with his kayak on Occoquan Bay

On April 2nd, 31 volunteers participated in a cleanup of the shoreline and some of the wetland areas of Mason Neck State Park as part of the 23rd annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation.

Volunteers included members of the Chesapeake Paddlers Association, employees of Fairfax County’s Stormwater Management Division as well as a number of Arlington Fairfax IWLA Chapter members.

Vinnie Caporale ferrys a volunteer across a creek mouth

42 bags were filled with thousand of fragments of styrofoam, hundreds of beverage containers and many dozens of tennis balls1.

Also collected were a dozen tires, some large blocks of plastic foam and a gallon of solidified lead paint.

We were hampered somewhat by the lack of motor driven watercraft but were able to use two of the parks canoes as barges to transport the collected trash. It took a few trips but we were able to finish by 2:30 pm.

In the days previous to this event there was some concern that a front forecast to pass through the area that day would result in rain and high winds. As it happens weather conditions remained almost ideal during the time the cleanup was scheduled to occur.

Paul Miller paddling the last load of the day to the canoe launch

There was however a brief period of high wind and rain after one o'clock which created some difficulties for the volunteers who stayed late to collect the bags and tires from the shoreline. Special thanks to Paul Miller, Vinnie Caporale, David Honey and Bill Rouck who stayed late to carry out and weigh the collected trash.
The total collected by the way was 1200 pounds.

Click on this link for information about our next scheduled cleanup at Mason Neck State Park.

Home About Us Index of Past Cleanups

1. Tennis balls are a common find in our cleanup efforts in Fairfax County. A number of theories has been suggested as on why this is so. My suspicion is that there are a awful lot of dogs within the Potomac Watershed that just won't fetch.