Trash is catch of day in creek cleanup

November 16, 1994|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

On Saturday morning, Rick MacDonald will go fishing -- for trash.

The 41-year-old computer specialist will join a number of other volunteers along the banks of Sawmill Creek in Anne Arundel County, trying to restore a small portion of a watershed that feeds the Chesapeake Bay.

Mr. MacDonald, who spent entire days water-skiing, fishing and crabbing as a child at his parents' summer home on the bay, remembers seeing three species of grass, some growing 4 to 6 feet tall.

Only one species is left now, said Mr. MacDonald, a volunteer for the Sawmill Creek Recovery Team, part of the Maryland Save Our Streams program.

"I've seen the bay change over the last 25 years," said the Glen Burnie resident. "The whole thing starts with little streams that feed into bigger rivers. I'm just trying to do my part."

The recovery team, which formed three years ago, has five members. Extra hands are always welcome.

The team will meet on Stewart Avenue, near the State Highway Administration building, at 9 a.m. and will hunt for debris until noon. In the past, volunteers have fished out of the water old tires, wooden pallets, car parts, used air-conditioning parts and food wrappers, said Jonathan Pearson, a Maryland Save Our Streams coordinator.

Three years ago, the state began a watershed restoration and preservation program, and Sawmill Creek was one of four targeted creeks, Mr. Pearson said. The recovery team has been cleaning up the creek for about 2 1/2 years.

Sawmill Creek curls around the eastern edge of Baltimore-Washington International Airport and continues its run behind Cromwell Shopping Center, slipping under Ritchie Highway before emptying into Furnace Creek. It runs through about 5,000 acres.

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