In what has become annual tradition, on Oct. 3 staff and volunteers from over a dozen local businesses and organizations spent the afternoon picking up trash along the shoreline of the Damariscotta River.
Representatives from Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, University of Maine Darling Marine Center, First National Bank, First National Wealth Management, Blackstone Point Oysters, Dodge Cove Marine Farm, Glidden Point Oyster Farms, Heron Island Oysters, Johns River Oyster, Mook Sea Farm, Norumbega Oyster, and Pemaquid Oyster Co. split up in boats operated by local shellfish farms to cover different areas of the river.
Together, participants collected over 850 pounds of trash as well as a substantial quantity of oyster farming gear, which growers retrieved for reuse.
Claiming the unofficial award for the most impressive item retrieved, one boat team returned to the town landing with an entire rusted engine block.
The cleanup is an opportunity both to collect lost aquaculture gear at the end of the growing season and a measure to preserve water quality for aquaculture, recreation, and wildlife.