Thursday, October 05, 2006


Operation River Bright has been postponed until next year.

We wanted the river to get back down at least to the 5' range, preferably 6 inches lower than that. Instead it has shot back to over 6' and still climbing; it will almost certainly be well-above 5’ on Saturday (Riegelsville gage). At five feet + the river is not particularly unsafe for a downriver trip (3.5’ is low flow at Riegelsville gage), but at over 5’ it can be hazardous to be making repeated landings on shore in search of trash because the river is up in the shrubs and trees – creating what paddlers refer to as "strainers" (let's the water through but not you). This greatly increases the possibility of folks dumping and even pinning their boats.

We have excellent safety and river rescue people on these river cleanups, so if we had a HOT sunny day in store maybe we could live with the water level being a little high but...

The air temp at the planned registration time will be in the upper 40's and the high is predicted to be about 62 deg. with a 15 mph northerly wind, and water temp will be about 60 deg. For those not wearing wool, fleece, wetsuits, dry suits etc., hypothermia becomes a serious concern. And of course, the people least likely to have proper river attire would be the most likely to take an impromptu swim complete with blue lips and chattering teeth.

Early October usually brings gorgeous weather and low water levels. Not this year. Indeed, 2006 has been a year of high flows and crazy weather, including of course the 4th all-time record flood in early July, which brought a new plague of trash and litter. We will all hope and pray for no more floods I am sure, and get back out there to remove as much trash as we can from this world class river in 2007.

On behalf of the Delaware River Greenway Partnership I offer a heartfelt thanks to all who have helped or otherwise supported Operation River Bright this year. Our September 23 cleanup between Bulls Island and Hendricks Island greatly improved that trash-plagued stretch of river.

A special thanks to the National Canoe Safety Patrol - Lower Delaware Chapter, New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg, American Canoe Association, Mohawk Canoe Club, National Park Service, Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic River Management Committee, Keller’s Landing and Delaware River Experience, Hunterdon County Parks & Recreation, Lazy River Adventures (canoes), PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Delaware Canal State Park
(for supplying a dumpster, gloves, bags and encouragement), ShopRite of Flemington (gloves, bags, bottled water), and Allied Waste (for offering a free dumpster).

See you on the water....

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