NewsCovering Kern County


1,000 pounds of trash cleaned from Kern River

130 volunteers helped with clean up
Posted at 1:09 PM, Sep 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-16 16:09:32-04

The Kern River, it's a vital source of water for Kern County and a place to enjoy a barbeque with some scenic views.

Saturday the Kern River was the meeting place for the U.S. Sea Cadets. For Bronson Ortlieb, said his normal Saturdays are filled with "Exercising, playing games with my friends. Going outside playing. Sometimes i'm inside playing my videogames."

But Saturday Ortlieb and his fellow Sea Cadets aren't visiting the Kern River for fun. They're among the 130 volunteers picking up trash.

"We found some diapers, some female products," said Ortlieb while picking up trash. He continued, "Mostly shoes and clothes, those are probably one of the most things that i find. And trashcan lids and umbrella, frames."

On the third Saturday of the month the U.S. Sea Cadets meet for different activities. September's activity was helping the Kern River Conservancy clean the Kern River. Something Kern River Conservancy's director, Gary Ananian, said is critical to the health of the county.

"When we're finding car transmissions in the water, the oil, the grease, every nasty thing that's on that transmission that's going down to Bakersfield. And that water we all know gets divert for agriculture and gets on the food. So we want to assure water quality," said Ananian.

130 volunteers cleaned up at 9 locations along the Kern River including Upper and Lower Richbar Picnic areas.

And instead of needing volunteers to pitch in and clean along the river, Ortlieb thinks, "That it would be better if people would clean up, so that people who have never been here and they come here to see the river don't have to deal with all this trash laying around, broken bottles, all these things that are ruining the experience for other people."

And Ortlieb and his fellow Sea Cadet hope others follow their example and clean up after themselves as well as any trash along the way. 

Ananian said the volunteers cleaned over 1,000 pounds of trash after another volunteer group cleaned 3,600 pounds of trash the day after Labor Day.