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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

U.S. Coast Guard Earth Day Community Cleanup

By Jerry Cegelske


May 07, 2018
Monday PM

Once again members of the U.S. Coast Guard participated in the cleanup of areas of the Borough where trash and litter have been intentionally dumped over the last year.  This is the 13th year they have taken time to clean up various areas of the community, including some of the most challenging areas to work in or to remove the trash from.   Some of the main areas worked on Friday the 27th were Whipple Creek, Revilla Road and Troller’s Creek under the new bridge on Knudson Cove Road.  It was nice to see their enthusiasm as they attacked the litter and trash dumped at those areas.  The fact that the weather cooperated with sunshine and ideal temperatures with no rain may have had something to do with it.

Troller’s Creek was a challenge as it is about 50 feet from the bridge to the creek bottom.  The members working there brought up two televisions, tires, bicycles, a garage door, an old computer, a transmission and other car parts, a trash can they used to get trash from the creek bed to the bridge, boat trailer jack, lumber, pipe, along with a lot of other trash.  One treasure was a steel Coke can that you had to use a pointed bottle opener to open.  It is expected that this is one area that will be worked on next year as they were not able to remove everything that was in the creek before it got too late in the day.

The Whipple Creek area also had a collection of dumped material and of course the burned pallets and tires along with miscellaneous trash that should have gone to the landfill.  While working with the members cleaning up the Whipple Creek area I found a box with the shipping label torn off, however I was able to determine who it was shipped to and will be issuing a citation for improper disposal of solid waste.

While encouraged by the efforts put forth by the Coast Guard member to collect and dispose of the trash, it is discouraging  that community members continue to use many areas of the Borough as their personal partying and dumping sites, leaving the area a mess for others to clean up and properly dispose of the material they fail to correctly dispose of.

At the end of the day, the 25 Coast Guard members were able to collect and take 5100 pounds of trash to the landfill.  

I would like to say “Thank you” and extend the appreciation from the community for your efforts as there was a specific request to get Troller’s Creek  cleaned up.  Over the last 13 years there have been many Coast Guard personnel who have worked on the clean-up efforts as they rotated into and out of Ketchikan on their tour of duty.  I would like to express my appreciation for your efforts and say that it has been my privilege and pleasure to work with such a dedicated group of men and women. “Thank you”.

Jerry Cegelske
Ketchikan, Alaska

Cleaning up Whipple Creek area: All photos by Jerry Cegelske

Cleaning up Troller’s Creek area.



Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received May 01, 2018 - Published May 07, 2018

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