The Lake James watershed continues to be plagued by an unnecessarily high level of human generated trash and all the negative environmental consequences that follow. As highlighted by respondents in LJEA’s latest survey, this is particularly the case on the western side of the lake, where heavy rainfall causes illegally and improperly disposed of land-based trash to be flushed into waterways and the lake.
In our 2018 assessment, LJEA identified the trash problem in the Lake James watershed as posing a significant risk. As a result, beginning in March 2019, the “Lake James Watershed Trash Reduction Workgroup” was formed. This is a coalition of concerned local governments and non-profit groups working towards identifying the areas that pose the largest threat in terms of trash and devising practical solutions to the problem. While the theoretical solution for reducing trash in the watershed seems simple enough (i.e. everyone taking personal responsibility to properly dispose of trash) the practical challenges are complex, and can be costly as well.
If you are interested in working on solutions to the Lake James Watershed trash issue, consider joining LJEA's Community Engagement Committee. The committee meets every other month and is responsible for trash reduction related activities such as lake, tributary, and roadside cleanups, as well as creating anti-littering educational materials, and working with the Advocacy committee to develop littering plans for the watershed's three counties.
The following video shows the extent of the problem and highlights the need for action.
Trash thrown out of car windows often makes its way to the streams of our watershed and ultimately, polluting our lake. Want to do something about it the next time you see it happen? Check out NCDOT's Swat-a- Bug program! https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/litter-management/Pages/swat-a-litterbug-report.aspx
Falling into the category of “low hanging fruit,” one example of an initiative that has been encouraged by the LJWTRW is the adoption by local HOA’s, churches, clubs, and other groups of local highway stretches under NC DOT’s “Adopt a Highway” program.
If you belong to an organization that is interested in the “Adopt a Highway” program, more information is available here.