River cleanup focuses on the little things

September 16, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — With previous cleanups removing most of the “big stuff” from the Colorado River, participants in Friday’s effort were able to focus on the little things.

The little things — like cigarette butts, bottle caps and crowns, plastic straws and miscellaneous trash — added up to 1,540 pounds of garbage removed from the river and the shoreline on both sides of the river.

Friday’s cleanup, sponsored by Marnell Gaming and the Colorado Belle

and Edgewater casinos, totaled 129 people. Included in that number were volunteers from five area youth service clubs, Laughlin Volunteers In Partnership members, and employees of the Belle and Edgewater.

Youth groups included the Mohave High School varsity football team, River Valley High School varsity football team, the Rotary-sponsored Interact Club of Mohave High School, the Kiwanis-sponsored Key Club of Mohave Accelerated Learning Center and the Mohave High School varsity swim team. Each group will receive a $1,000 donation from Marnell Gaming for its participation.

“We are proud to be part of a community effort to keep our river resource clean,” said Ryan Walker, senior vice president and general manager of the Belle and Edgewater. “Today’s event was definitely beneficial after a very busy summer tourism season.”

Much of the trash gathered Friday was accumulated during the recent Labor Day weekend, the traditional end of summer.

“It has been a goal of ours to not only actively beautify our river through these cleanups but also to change the overall culture and mindset of our aquatic tourists and our local community,” said Ed Catalfamo, events manager for the Belle and Edgewater.

The cleanup was the fourth sponsored by Marnell, part of its commitment after taking over operation of the Laughlin River Regatta. The previous three removed more than 6,500 pounds of trash from the river and shoreline.

That is in addition to a cleanup paid for by Marnell immediately following the Aug. 11 regatta that saw more than 14 tons of trash hauled away.

The post-regatta effort included event staff on the day of the float and a team of 30 snorkelers and divers the following day. The divers scoured the bottom of the river, from Davis Camp to Rotary Park, and removed about 800 pounds of trash that had made its way to the river floor.

“The Colorado Belle and Edgewater team is extremely proud of the trash plan execution and success during the Laughlin River Regatta,” Walker said.

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