Fishing team reels up community service

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Fishing team reels up community service

Dakota Ratley

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Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 8.13.59 PMThe fishing team collected trash Saturday at the 2014 Ouachita Parish Water Sweep.

The ninth annual Ouachita Parish Water Sweep occurred on Saturday at various locations along the Ouachita River.

Volunteers cleaned out the waterways during the water sweep. Ouachita Green and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put on the event every year on the third Saturday of September. 

The organizations reached out to both the ULM fishing and water ski teams this year.  The teams both endorsed the water sweep.

Courtney Hornsby is the president of the West Monroe/West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s wonderful to see the university to get involved and shows that people of all ages care about the environment and care about the community,” Hornsby said.

The ski team was unable to participate in the actual cleanup on Saturday due to a tournament.

The volunteers split into groups. Some cleaned up litter in the water, while some walked along the shores picking up trash.

Among things that have been found during the cleanups are bikes, sunken boats, a full pack of syringes and even a meth lab.

Partly because of the involvement of the ULM teams, this year’s event had more participation than ever before. The effort had over 200 volunteers pre-register to help with the cleanup.

Sophomore Tyler Stuart of the fishing team said that the team was happy to participate.

“It shows that we really care about our community, and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep it clean,” Stuart said.

The cleanup efforts covered all of the Ouachita River and its tributaries, such as Bayou DeSiard and Bayou Bartholomew.