Sedona, AZ- Spring break in Sedona has been a prelude to the looming summer crowds sure to visit Oak Creek this summer. To prepare, the Oak Creek Watershed Council will host event at Indian Gardens Café and Marketplace in Oak Creek Canyon on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The popularity of Oak Creek as a recreation destination has led to an increasing litter issue on Oak Creek over the last few decades. Unfortunately, the amount of trash left along the creek is an indirect contributor to the problem of high amounts of E. coli.
“We try to host a few cleanups every month,” said Dalton Zanetti, OCWC Operations Assistant, “it makes a huge difference when we get locals out on the ground, taking pride in their own backyard.”
The trash attracts wildlife such as raccoons and skunks, who linger and defecate right next to the creek, adding to the E. coli concentrations in the water. High amounts of E. coli in the water indicate the presence of bacteria such as giardia or cryptosporidium. This type of bacteria makes people sick if swimming in it. Trash cleanups help to make the water safe to swim in while preserving the natural wonders that surround Sedona.
“The OCWC volunteer task force, Friends of Oak Creek, really strives to be the boots-on the-ground crew that provides multiple opportunities for residents to get involved in a meaningful way,” said Zanetti, “we just want to see more people showing up at cleanup events: it’s a huge task, keeping Oak Creek beautiful.”
The OCWC will provide pickers, gloves, safety vests, buckets, and trash bags to our volunteers. Volunteers meet at Indian Gardens Marketplace to receive a safety talk and review archeological sensitivity for the area.
The Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC), a local nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable future of Oak Creek and its watershed, spearheaded the project at a citizen level. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded the basis for the project through a grant issued in 2013 to help mitigate E. coli contaminants in Oak Creek. For information on how residents and visitors can learn more about the stewardship of Oak Creek, visit www.oakcreekwatershed.org
The Oak Creek Watershed Council is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) dedicated to maintaining a standard of excellence for watershed stewardship, as well as preserving the integrity of Oak Creek, and its tributaries.
ADEQ's WQIG program is funded through a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act. For more information about the program, visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/watershed/index.html