Tue, Feb. 25

Letter: Verde River Cleanup a huge success


On Saturday, June 6, 26 volunteers with the Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter and the Friends of the Verde River Greenway tackled trash and invasive plant species on portions of the Verde River through Camp Verde.

The volunteers removed 1,500 pounds of trash, cleaning out the typical bottles, cans, and papers but also removing some more interesting items such as clock, metal jewelry box, and corrugated tin sheets. Special thanks go to Max Castillo with Arizona State Parks for helping arrange this event.

The Verde is one of the largest perennial streams in the Southwest and supports a variety of wildlife and fish, including the southwestern willow flycatcher, bald eagle, Arizona toad, and razorback sucker. The river also provides outstanding recreational opportunities, including boating, hiking, bird watching, and fishing and is an important source of drinking water for Phoenix and other communities. American Rivers named the Verde as one of America's ten most endangered rivers in 2006 due to the significant threats to the river from proposed groundwater pumping.

The Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter has been monitoring the upper Verde River since December 2006 as part of its Water Sentinels program. Three groups monitor the river at seven locations for E. coli, arsenic, phosphorous, and nitrogen levels, as well as the pH, temperature, total dissolved solids, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen. Two groups also monitor the river's flows. The purpose of this program is to obtain a baseline data set to track the effects of future development and pumping projects. Occasional clean-ups are an important part of the river's protection as well.

Tiffany Sprague

Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter


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