GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A group of locals are bringing awareness to the Colorado River one trash bag at a time during the annual clean up.
Grand Junction Paddling Club and the Colorado Riverfest partnered to host this year's Colorado River Clean-Up that consisted of a 9-mile stretch from Blue Heron to Fruita.
Jeremiah Williams is one of the volunteers who participated in the clean-up for the second year in a row.
"I was amazed at what I found. There's way more trash in here than you would realize," he said.
Among the things they normally find are tires, plastic bags, and bottles. He took his paddle board to help be part of a change for himself as he recreationally uses the river "almost daily...I get more joy and more pleasure out of seeing a clean river versus a dirty one."
Williams is joined by Bob Richardson, who has taken on this initiative for the past 13 years, to help make sure the river doesn't hit rock bottom.
"It is part of the identity of Grand Junction. It's very important to keep it in good shape and respect it," said Richardson.
This year he and the volunteers faced some struggles with the low water levels. "It makes it harder to get down the river, makes it harder to get to the shore and we have to hike [inaudible] to get in."
But it's not all bad. He adds that because of the shallow waters it's an opportunity to find more trash and is able to reach closer to the bottom of the water.
The clean-up has been going on for about 15-20 years and Richardson says the river has been looking better since they've first started.
The trash bags will be collected and make their way over to the Mesa County Landfill.
Saturday morning 46 volunteers came out to help with Colorado River Clean-Up. They were able to find 19 tires, 1,000 pounds of metal and in total collected 15 cubic yards of trash.