Capt. Doyle's

River Excursions & FunFishing Guide Service

Kiwanis Rockin' River event cleans up!

TOPOCK — A rising tide lifts all boats … and a lot of trash.


More than 100 people took to the water and desert Saturday to clean up 8 miles of Topock Gorge, from the Topock 66 Marina south to the Devil’s Elbow.


“We got all the nooks and crannies on foot and on the water,” said Wendy Gustafson, event co-coordinator. “Last year we collected about 1,300 pounds of trash and this year we brought out 2,900 pounds of trash and 221 pounds of recyclable materials. Everyone involved did a terrific job, and we can’t thank them enough.”


Mohave County Environmental Rural Area Clean-up Enforcement provided trash bags and made arrangements for the trash bins and dumpster through Republic Services of Lake Havasu City. 

“The event helps the community keep the area clean, which is good for the quality of life of the community and for the ecological health of the gorge,” said Kevin Hartmann, ERACE investigator.


Hosted by Topock 66 Marina and Capt. Doyle’s, the third annual trash roundup provided participants with event T-shirts, lunch, and the opportunity to win a debris scavenger hunt. Specially designed trashy trophies were awarded in five categories to: Chris Smith, for most trash by weight; Ed Felter for most recyclables collected; Sam Vaughan collected the most number of flip-flops at 135; Cub Scout Troop 104 hauled in the most valuable Item, a large metal sign; and Jim Boyle towed in the largest item, a waterlogged 10-foot by 12-foot framed plywood platform weighing roughly 2,500 pounds. The scavenger hunt winners were Troy Garrett, Kari Hull and Holly Lundgren.


“We didn’t see a lot of unusual items this year,” said Jim Lambert, Kiwanis of the Colorado Noon Club outgoing president. “But we did see an unusual amount of kids toys — shovels and buckets and things. There were a lot of them out there.”


Recyclables, including plastic bottle caps collected to benefit Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council, were sorted from the trash at the time of pickup and sorted again after delivery at a station run by local Girl Scouts.


“We also collected 570 flip-flops,” Gustafson said. “River Warrior (most valuable player) winner was Girl Scout Mariyah Martinez; she counted every single flip-flop as they came from every boat and then recounted every one. She worked really hard.”


As the 14 boats returned with their bags of collected refuse and piles of wood and metal trash, unloading and sorting help also came from Cub Scout Troop 104, members of Kiwanis of the Colorado Noon Club and other volunteers.


“It’s a great project,” said Misty Boynton, whose 9-year-old son, Landon, is a Webelo with Troop 104. Her daughters Aurora, 12, and Savanah, 14, also took part in the effort. “We all wanted to help cleanup the river.”


Area businesses and eight local artists, Tom Dallman, Antonia Citrino, Jean Bain, Heather Boyle, Jeannie Sandoval, Georgia Craig, Rebecca Vaughan and Matt King donated artwork for raffle prizes.


The day also brought a gift in the form of donation check from Pacific Gas & Electric.


“We’re really excited that Pacific Gas & Electric gave us $1,000 toward our event,” Gustafson said. “It will help us improve the event going forward. The event is a collaborative effort; it takes a lot of people and a lot of help to make this happen and we’re really grateful for all the community support.”

By DK McDONALD The Daily News 

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