Our April guest speaker was one of our chapter members, Ruth Debrito. Ruth conducted a safety training session in preparation for our up coming Nansemond River clean up project. Ruth covered various water safety issues associated with the proper operation of canoes including the requirements for wearing life jackets, obtaining the proper fit of the life jackets, hazard identification while on the river and some general safety requirements for working along the shoreline. This training was conducted in accordance with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) requirements for the Adopt-A-Stream program. Ruth also reviewed the contents of the kits that will be on each canoe. The kits include first aid kits, work gloves, emergency whistles and maps for locating items in the river that are too large to be removed from a canoe. Those items will be marked on the maps and may be removed later when access by a power boat or other methods can be arranged.
After Ruth completed the safety training, chapter member Tim Doxey presented an overview of the plan for the river clean up event and a description of the area along the section of the river our chapter has adopted. Our section of the river runs from just below the piers at the Hilton Garden Inn upstream to the dam. Tim explained that although this is our first river cleanup event, it will take several follow on events before we will be able to address the entire section of the river. The initial clean up will focus on the residents side of the river and along the shoreline just past the Hilton Garden Inn and up the drainage to Constance Road. Future clean up events will focus on the areas behind many of the businesses along North Main.