Cape residents gathered at the community beaches on Saturday to tackle removing the debris along the shoreline. The Cape St. Claire Improvement Association Chair of the Beaches and Parks Committee asked for volunteers to help with the cleanup effort. Capers donned old clothes, boots and gloves and came armed with rakes, trash bags and wheelbarrows.
Debris from the Conowingo Dam has washed up on the shores over the past week and recent downpours have left the waters of the Chesapeake Bay murky.
Many volunteers, including Cape Youth Sailing and the Broadneck High School Environmental Science Club led by Nancy Bourgeois, have worked diligently throughout the week to remove debris. Additionally, Cape Groundskeepers, “Dottie” and “Stiney,” have been working tirelessly on keeping Cape beaches debris-free.
The debris is mostly comprised of large logs, limbs and large sticks. But there have been some more interesting trash items recovered such as more than 10 pool "noodles," an empty bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne and toothbrushes. One person said that the most interesting thing he saw was a large log with a bunch of little snapping turtles riding on top as it moved into Lake Claire.
The cleanup efforts are quite frustrating for volunteers who drag branches and rake the beach, only to find that the next tide brings in more mess to clean up again. Some estimate that the arriving debris could continue for another two weeks.
In addition to organizing volunteers who have put in many hours of service, Cape St. Claire also brought in several huge roll-off dumpsters and other heavy equipment. On Saturday morning, one of the two roll-offs was completely filled.
Unfortunately, the debris is likely to continue to wash up on the shores for some time. But thanks to their spirit of volunteerism, Capers will continue to rise to the occasion and keep the beaches open and clean.