A couple of weeks ago photographer Clarke Conde shared some dirty photos of Rochester’s riverfront on Facebook. Those photos made me sad. Dead trees, algae and trash had been collecting in this section of the river for over well over year. Smelly algae and logs are one thing. But add piles of plastic bottles, clothing, styrofoam, truck tires, other undesirables, and let stew for a year or more? To me, that’s more than a cosmetic problem. If I’m from out of town, I’d probably think Rochesterians just don’t give a hoot.
Thankfully, we all know that isn’t true. We pulled together. And we made a difference…
After making some phone calls I learned this section of river is not managed by the City of Rochester, but by New York State Canal Corporation . Problem is, the Canal Corp. doesn’t consider this to be a navigation channel. And with over 500 miles of higher-priority waterways across the state, they weren’t in a position to commit to sending a cleaning crew out here.
After this photo was shared online, however, more people began to speak up and NYS Canal Corp finally sent out some equipment to break up the log jam and pull out the trash. The photo above was taken yesterday. And as you can see, the river is looking less like a landfill, and more like something we can be proud of.
We need to thank Clarke Conde for showing us the world through his camera lens. But we also need to thank Nancy O’Donnell and The Wedge newspaper for also calling attention to this. Thomas Hack from the City’s Department of Environmental Services for working behind the scenes. And William Sweitzer and John Callaghan from NYS Canal Corp. for answering our questions open and honestly, and for finding a way to get this cleaned up.
The saga continues…
Tags: City of Rochester, Clarke Conde, Clean Sweep, garbage, Genesee River, John Callaghan, New York State Canal Corporation, pollution, rochester photos, trash, William Sweitzer
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 at 8:01 am and is filed under Opinion, Rochester Images, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.