Canoe-sized logs among debris being removed from channel on Southwest Waterfront

An ongoing team of volunteers and organizations working to clean up the channel along the Southwest Waterfront in D.C. has removed enough wood and debris to fill four 30-yard dumpsters as of Friday.

The Washington Channel Water Cleanup, which is supported by The Wharf, has been underway since March 1 and is expected to last through March 18.

Volunteer boaters have been pushing trash and debris toward shore where it is pulled out of the water and loaded onto docks where it is sorted and separated so it can be disposed of properly. The wood pieces and logs are cut and chopped into wood chips. Trash, such as plastic bottles and cups, is taken to the dump.

There's no telling how long this freshly cut hard wood log had been floating down the Potomac River toward the Southwest Watefront. (WTOP/Kristi King)
There’s no telling how long this freshly cut hard wood log had been floating down the Potomac River toward the Southwest Waterfront. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Clean-up volunteers work to break up the log. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Cleanup volunteers work to break up the log. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
This log was a bear to break up into manageable sizes for removal. (WTOP/Kristi King)
This log was a bear to break up into manageable sizes for removal. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Sizes of wood debris vary greatly, some are more potentially dangerous to boat propellers than others. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Sizes of wood debris vary greatly, some are more potentially dangerous to boat propellers than others. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Multiple tools are need to break up wood into pieces in manageable enough sizes to be lifted from the water.(WTOP/Krist King)
Multiple tools are need to break up wood into pieces in manageable enough sizes to be lifted from the water. (WTOP/Krist King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
An ongoing team of volunteers, organizations and The Wharf working to clean up the channel along the Southwest waterfront in D.C. has removed enough wood and debris to fill four 30-yard dumpsters. (WTOP/Kristi King)
An ongoing team of volunteers, organizations and The Wharf working to clean up the channel along the Southwest waterfront in D.C. has removed enough wood and debris to fill four 30-yard dumpsters. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
A year's worth of record rainfall has helped push generous amounts of trash, debris and wood of various sizes downstream and into area waterways. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A year’s worth of record rainfall has helped push generous amounts of trash, debris and wood of various sizes downstream and into area waterways. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
The cleanup is a team effort. (WTOP/Kristi King)
The cleanup is a team effort. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
A year's worth of record rainfall has helped push generous amounts of trash, debris and wood of various sizes downstream and into area waterways. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A year’s worth of record rainfall has helped push generous amounts of trash, debris and wood of various sizes downstream and into area waterways. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
This is the fourth dumpster of debris to be removed from the channel thus far. (WTOP/Kristi King)
This is the fourth dumpster of debris to be removed from the channel thus far. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Who knew chain saws can be used partially submerged in water? (WTOP/Kristi King)
Who knew chain saws can be used partially submerged in water? (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Collected debris being sorted on Wharf Cove (between Transit Pier and Market Pier) as part of The Wharf's Washington Channel Water Clean Up initiative. (Courtesy Patrick Revord)
Collected debris being sorted on Wharf Cove (between Transit Pier and Market Pier) as part of The Wharf’s Washington Channel Water Clean Up initiative. (Courtesy Patrick Revord) (Courtesy Patrick Revord)
As of Friday, four 30 yard dumpsters of debris had been removed from the channel. (Courtesy Patrick Revord)
As of Friday, four 30 yard dumpsters of debris had been removed from the channel. (Courtesy Patrick Revord) (Courtesy Patrick Revord)
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There's no telling how long this freshly cut hard wood log had been floating down the Potomac River toward the Southwest Watefront. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Clean-up volunteers work to break up the log. (WTOP/Kristi King)
This log was a bear to break up into manageable sizes for removal. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Sizes of wood debris vary greatly, some are more potentially dangerous to boat propellers than others. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Multiple tools are need to break up wood into pieces in manageable enough sizes to be lifted from the water.(WTOP/Krist King)
An ongoing team of volunteers, organizations and The Wharf working to clean up the channel along the Southwest waterfront in D.C. has removed enough wood and debris to fill four 30-yard dumpsters. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A year's worth of record rainfall has helped push generous amounts of trash, debris and wood of various sizes downstream and into area waterways. (WTOP/Kristi King)
The cleanup is a team effort. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A year's worth of record rainfall has helped push generous amounts of trash, debris and wood of various sizes downstream and into area waterways. (WTOP/Kristi King)
This is the fourth dumpster of debris to be removed from the channel thus far. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Who knew chain saws can be used partially submerged in water? (WTOP/Kristi King)
Collected debris being sorted on Wharf Cove (between Transit Pier and Market Pier) as part of The Wharf's Washington Channel Water Clean Up initiative. (Courtesy Patrick Revord)
As of Friday, four 30 yard dumpsters of debris had been removed from the channel. (Courtesy Patrick Revord)

“It’s just been a tremendous waterway cleanup,” said Patrick Revord, director of technology and community engagement for The Wharf.

The effort certainly helps the environment, but there’s more to it than that.

“We’re really looking forward to the April boating season when hundreds of boats will come into the channel,” Revord said.

A year’s worth of record rainfall has helped push generous amounts of trash, debris and wood of various sizes downstream and into area waterways. Logs as big as 3 feet wide, such as one being pulled from the water on Friday, pose a hazard to boat traffic.

“In the past year we’ve had very serious reported cases of boat propellers that have hit these large logs in the river,” Revord said. “Boats have needed to be towed back to the police dock or back to the fire dock right on the channel because they’ve taken on water from hitting big logs like this.”

In addition to recreational boaters, the channel is used by water taxis and entertainment dinner cruises.

“It’s extremely expensive to replace a propeller down on the bottom of on one of those boats,” Revord noted. “So, it’s really important for everyone who comes up and down the channel that there aren’t these big logs getting in the way of their boating.”

Groups volunteering either boats or manpower for the cleanup include, the Washington Marina, Capital Yacht Club, Port of Washington Yacht Club and the Southwest BID.

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