NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Saturday was a beautiful morning to hit the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, but it wasn’t the only thing a 9 a.m. group of kayakers had in mind when they put on their life vests.
The community members were also collecting trash on clean the bay day.
“This is just a dozen, what we’ll typically see in one clean up so I’m expecting today’s river volunteers to bring some also,” said deputy director of Education with the Elizabeth River Project, Robin Dunbar, as she held up a basket of masks.
The 6 kayaks are part of a fleet donated to the Elizabeth River Project.
Before this, the Executive Director, says volunteers could only pick up trash along the shore.
“Typically we’re on land and we see litter in the water, and we can’t reach it, so to have a fleet out in the river is fantastic,” said Elizabeth River Project Executive Director, Marjorie Mayfield-Jackson.
Saturday, they celebrated their maiden voyage of water trash collection–complete with a mermaid.
The woman behind the idea– Sharon McQueen– says her neighbors in the Winona-Lafayette neighborhood helped her raise $1,700 for the kayaks and they didn’t stop there.
“Christopher May and Rob Henson were two guys in the Winona neighborhood who built two kayak racks,” said McQueen.
She says some businesses pitched in too for life jackets and prize awards.
McQueen says it was a true community effort and the Elizabeth River project has some forever volunteers now.