FAIRHOPE, AL — Ready to do some spring cleaning — on the water? Join the Weeks Bay Foundation and Thompson Engineering on February 17 and get out on Fish River and Weeks Bay—by boat—to pick up trash.

Every year, trash gets stuck along the shoreline and is only accessible by water. Last year, the Weeks Bay Foundation organized the first such kayak and canoe-based cleanup, and 50 volunteers picked up more than 1,000 pounds of trash. Thompson Engineering will shuttle paddlers and their boats upstream in a project barge, which will then act as a “floating dumpster” so paddlers can bring items to the barge rather than paddling back to the boat ramp.

“This is a great opportunity to get out on the water, meet new people, and help clean up our amazing waterways,” Yael Girard, Foundation executive director said. “As spring approaches, the river and Weeks Bay will begin to see a lot more recreational use, so this is the time to take advantage of quieter days and get in to those hard to reach shoreline spots where the trash accumulates.”

Last year, Girard said, the volunteers picked up everything from plastic bottles and fishing line, to old tires and coolers. “These are things that could be dangerous to not only boaters and swimmers, but to fish and wildlife as well,” she said.

The Fish River Kayak-based Cleanup starts at 10 a.m. at the Fish River boat ramp under the Highway 98 bridge at Weeks Bay. Paddlers should bring their own boat (canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board), life jacket and paddle. Trash bags and nitrile gloves will be provided, but participants may want to bring heavy-duty leather gloves.

For more information and to sign up, contact the Weeks Bay Foundation at 251-990-5004, or email yael@weeksbay.org.