Cleaning up the Shuswap

Enderby city council hopes to sit down with members of the local chamber of commerce next month to discuss concerns over garbage left by tourists along the banks of the Shuswap River as well as parking issues.

“We need to acknowledge we’re a tourist destination for the river,” said Mayor Greg McCune. “Let’s act like it and be proud of that.”

McCune is hoping to resolve some of the issues with concrete proposals so that litter is not left behind as people float down the river, a popular past time in the summer months.

One suggestion is to have a local company make a mesh bag that could be handed out to tourists by local river ambassadors, allowing them to safely stow their belongings or garbage.

McCune said a tentative Oct. 17 date has been scheduled for the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Enderby Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for B.C. Rivers Day later this month.

“We will be sending divers down and will have canoers and kayakers cleaning up all the garbage (in and around the river),” said spokesperson Kaylee Wells.

The event will take place Sept. 25, 2-4 p.m.

“I personally have seen quite a lot of garbage. Each year, more and more seems to accumulate,” Wells said.

McCune has complained that a lack of conservation officers makes it difficult to enforce rules about dumping garbage, not just by the river but in forested areas and grasslands.

Meetings with B.C. government brass have been scheduled during the annual Union of BC Municipalities convention later this month.

“We will continue to push forward with the idea of increasing conservation officers,” said McCune, who brought up the matter with the premier and Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo last month. This month, Environment Minister Mary Polak will hear his views.

He said people he knew who had reported infractions to the Conservation Service were not called back.

“That’s the biggest frustration,” said McCune. “They just don’t have the manpower to follow up.”

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