Photo: Coastal Conservation Association Maryland

Wild Chesapeake: Anglers Compete in Trash Cleanup “Tournament”

Like many anglers I know, littering drives me nuts, as it’s a sign of lazy, selfish thoughtlessness. So, I’m quick to scoop up floating trash I find while fishing on the Chesapeake, one of its rivers, or when I’m at a landing or boat ramp. Of particular concern are plastics. Recent studies have shown how widespread and detrimental plastics are to our marine environments. Fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals can suffocate, starve, and drown if they ingest or get entangled in plastic debris.

The Coastal Conservation Association’s (CCA) Maryland chapter has launched a unique take on helping make our rivers and creeks cleaner with their inaugural Chesapeake Clean-Up Week, which runs from July 7 through July 13. The angler and fish advocacy group is using its experience with the iAngler Tournament app to record and track individual shoreline trash-collecting success. Winning trash collectors will earn prizes and recognition, just as they do on the water. The clean-up is statewide throughout the week. The Kent Narrows, Annapolis and Southern Maryland chapters are spearheading the effort with group efforts on Saturday, July 13 along the Choptank River, Patuxent River and Spa Creek. With this initiative CCA strives to “empower our youth, engage a new audience and create a cleaner Chesapeake Bay!”

The iAngler Tournament app is free and easily downloadable. CCA Maryland and sport fishing groups in other states use iAngler for fishing tournaments, but this could be the start of a cool and worthy trend. All you have to do to participate is download the iAngler Tournament app and register for the free event. Then, log in images of your trash to be eligible to win as well as provide useful information to CCA Maryland about Bay pollution.

If one of the three designated sites doesn’t work for you on Saturday, then consider recruiting families, friends, and neighbors to clean up litter at your local river or creek, park, or shoreline that needs attention.

Participants are invited to the “Picnic After Party” awards reception at the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Ellen O. Moyer Nature Park at Back Creek in Annapolis from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday’s locations are:

  • Red Bridges, 26401 Red Bridges Road, Greensboro, MD from 9 a.m-1 p.m. with the CCA Maryland Kent Narrows Chapter.
  • Truxton Park, 273 Hilltop Lane, Annapolis, MD from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. with the CCA Maryland Annapolis Chapter.
  • Solomons Public Boat Ramp, 14195 Solomons Island Rd S, Solomons, MD from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. with the CCA Maryland Patuxent River Chapter.

-Capt. Chris Dollar