SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



More Work To Do!
By Jerry Cegelske


March 27, 2006

Two years ago one of the people helping collect junk and trash by Mud Bight, Whipple Spur and several other areas of North Tongass asked why they were cleaning up North Tongass when they worked near South Tongass.  This year we have the North Tongass and Revilla Road Clean-ups scheduled for April 15, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. and again S. Tongass is ignored- until now.

jpg junk vehicles & parts by shore

Junk vehicles & parts by shore.

The reason we have waited on South Tongass is that the project is so large.  If you just drive S. Tongass it looks pretty good, but the real problems are hidden from view down along the shoreline hidden in the trees and alders.  Since the problems were greater than what the Borough could handle at this time, the Borough Manager and Borough assembly directed the seeking of funds to correct the problem.  In February we sought funding for a grant from the Southeast Alaska Coastal Conservation Program and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
Today a letter was received from Neil Stichert, Habitat Restoration Biologist and Southeast Alaska Coastal Program Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Juneau about the grant request. Neil informed the Borough that the Whitman Creek-South Tongass Cleanup was funded for the fully requested level of $35,000.
The $35,000 sounds like a lot of money for a cleanup, but most of the funds will be used to remove the junk cars, metal and appliances that have been dumped in the sites over the years which volunteers cannot do.  When I asked a local contractor about getting an estimate of the cost of removal and started to describe the locations, he laughed and said he was familiar with the area.

 jpg rusted vehicle

Rusted vehicle...

What is needed to make this project a success is the volunteer assistance of the Citizens of Ketchikan to help clean up the materials left behind after the major junk and trash is removed.  We need to provide matching funds in the form of volunteer labor hours in cleaning up these and the remaining areas of Whitman Creek and South Togass that will not be the focus of heavy equipment.
As can be seen by the photographs, we hope to remove the source of pollution of the waters of George Inlet by removing the vehicles along with their fuel tanks, oil in their engines, antifreeze and other pollutants that have been or will be leaking out of the vehicles and appliances.
Your assistance is needed to help make this a successful project.  If you haven't participated in a Clean-up, try volunteering for one- you will be surprised by how much  fun you have and the feeling of accomplishment and contributing to the community you have earned.

Jerry Cegelske
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Jerry Cegelske is a Code Enforcement Officer with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.


Bones and other trash to cleanup...

Mound of Vehicles to cleanup....

Stove and mattress tossed...

Truck disposed of near shore....



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Ketchikan, Alaska