Judging by the piles of trash deposited in various places along the Quachita River, Bayou Desiard and Black Bayou Lake, today’s “Ouachita Water Sweep” was a huge success.

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Working from canoes and kayaks, Boy Scout Troop 74 of Monroe (above) and several members of Friends of Black Bayou pulled trash from Black Bayou Lake.

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Families of American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA boys picked up trash on the Ouachita River levee above and below the Forsythe Part boat ramp.

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Another crew adds its haul to an ever-growing pile of trash at the Forsythe Park boat ramp from the deck of a Ouachita Sheriff’s Dept. boat.

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This crew specialized in the big stuff. An amazing number of tires find their way into the Ouachita River. The wheelbarrow in the back of the boat was an oldie–all steel!

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Stuart Hodnett of Ouachita Green, the organizer of the event, snags a plastic bag out of the river from the deck of a Tensas Levee Authority Police boat.

At noon, hamburgers were served to volunteers under canopies at the Forsythe Park boat ramp, and people shared stories of their finds. The unusual items included a woman’s small purse with wallet, driver’s license and credit cards still inside. This item was turned over to law enforcement to return to the owner.

One of the walking crews found a television set on the river bank. Hodnett said that the all-steel vintage wheelbarrow pictured above on the back of a john boat will be added to Ouachita Green’s collection of gems from the river.

The must common items? Volunteers at Black Bayou and on the Ouachita River suggested beer bottles. Come on, beer drinkers! You can do better.

Photos by Bette Kauffman.

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