River loot found during annual Yampa cleanup | SteamboatToday.com

River loot found during annual Yampa cleanup

A few of the items found during the annual Yampa River Cleanup event hosted by hosted by the City of Steamboat Springs, Friends of the Yampa, Yampatika and the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — How, exactly does a drone end up in the Yampa River?

One may never know.

Nor how items like a handmade wooden raft and 40 pounds of rusty mining equipment washed up along its banks.

"We never used to find 'society trend' items like the e-cigarettes and fins from paddleboards, but as they have become mainstream, we will certainly find more and more of them in the river, unfortunately," said Kent Vertrees, one of the event organizers and Friends of the Yampa board president.

But thanks to 140 volunteers who dedicated their Saturday morning to the annual Yampa River Cleanup, thousands of items were removed from 12 miles of the Yampa River.

Vertrees said they found less river loot than last year.

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"I think the flows contributed to less trash this year, but there are other reasons also," Vertrees said. “Certainly, with lower flows, the river was less of a wild tube ride and people stayed in their tubes more — so less trash in the river. Or maybe, less people tubing this year?"

Or perhaps the nonprofit's Respect the Yampa campaign, which reminds locals about caring for the river, could be credited for sparking the positive trend.

"This campaign isn’t all about tubing," Vertrees said. "From fishermen to birdwatchers, folks that manage our reservoirs and power plant along with our drinking water and our friends in the agriculture industry, we all realize the Yampa’s importance for all uses, and this is the essence of the Respect the Yampa campaign. "

The first river cleanup of the season was hosted by the city of Steamboat Springs, Friends of the Yampa, Yampatika and the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads.

Friends of the Yampa board member and owner of Backdoor Sports, Peter Van de Carr, said he will be organizing two more river cleanups at 9 a.m. on July 30 and Aug. 27 with volunteers meeting at Backdoor Sports.

Yampa River loot collected during the 2018 cleanup:

• 380 cigarette butts

• 265 pieces of plastic

• 200 aluminum cans

• 105 golf balls

• 75 pieces of broken glass

• 86 pieces of paper

• 75 plastic water bottles

• 37 bottle caps

• 21 water bottle lids

• 20 glass bottles

• 19 pairs of sunglasses

• 19 flip-flops

• 17 Ziplock bags

• 17 full cans of beer

• 16 fishing items

• 16 rusty metal pieces

• 16 T-shirts

• 15 tennis balls

• 15 pieces of rope

• 14 aluminum can tabs

• 14 pieces of twine

• 14 watershoes

• 12 napkins

• 10 small coffee creamers

• 9 dead fish

• 8 socks

• 7 bags of dog poop

• 6 pieces of plywood

• 6 sandals

• 6 Chapstick containers

• 5 chewing tobacco cans

• 5 straws

• 5 towels

• 5 river tubes

• 5 human poo and toilet paper sites

• 5 baseball hats

• 5 liquor bottles

• 4 paddleboard fins

• 4 bike reflectors

• 4 swim shorts

• 4 bungee cords

• 4 sunscreen containers

• 3 pieces of rebar

• 3 pieces of barbed wire

• 3 railroad spikes

• 3 fishing lures

• 3 pairs of pants

• 3 pairs of underwear

• 3 shotgun shells

• 2 breakfast burrito wrappers

• 2 tennis shoes

• 2 plastic PVC pipes

• 2 key rings with keys

• 2 sandbags

• 2 shoe soles

• 2 lacrosse balls

• 2 spray paint cans

• 2 wooden pallets

• 2 refreezable ice packs

• 2 Bandaids

• 2 headbands

• 1 button-down shirt

• 1 e-cigarette

• 1 styrofoam cup

• 1 metal fork

• 1 drone

• 1 half hockey stick

• 1 kayak float bag

• 1 brick

• 1 i-Phone with ear buds

• 1 bottle of bug repellant

• 1 parking sign

• 1 Silica packet

• 1 hypodermic needle

• 1 horseshoe

• 1 Transformer kid toy

• 1 snowplow pole

• 1 full trash bag full of plastic plates, forks and other random food stuffs

• 1 American flag blouse

• 1 pair of Wrangler’s jeans

• 1 full diaper

• 1 keychain can opener

• 1 cooler

• 1 trash bag

• 1 tunafish can

• 1 firework

• 1 shoe

• 1 metal sign

• 1 remote-control boat

• 1 blanket

• 1 handmade wooden raft

• 1 bike tube

• 1 waterproof phone case

• 1 American flag

• 1 fishing pole

• 1 Nalgene bottle

• 1 railroad metal rigging

• 1 coozie

• 1 $1 bill

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.