TAHLEQUAH — Wading through the slow-moving river currents, employee volunteers from Cherokee Nation Businesses recently cleaned a six-mile section of the Illinois River as part of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission’s annual River Clean-up.
The partnership between OSRC and river outfitters along Oklahoma 10 offered a free float trip in an attempt to collect the bulk of trash left from the summer’s visitors.
“As an environmental agency charged with preserving the amazing qualities of our state’s scenic rivers, it is very important to the OSRC’s mission to get the public involved with volunteering efforts,” Cassandra Carter, the agency’s education outreach coordinator, said in a media release. “We want the public to have a sense of responsibility for these resources, because it takes the efforts of all of us to protect them.”
Numerous businesses signed up for the event, and a section of the river was designated for each. CNB volunteers floated along the six-mile route from Diamondhead Resort, picking up trash, cans and debris.
“It is always an honor to be allowed to represent the Cherokee Nation in such a positive manner,” Belinda Sinor, a Cherokee Nation citizen and corporate safety manager for CNB, said in the release. “I feel like I am a part of a company that cares about the communities we live in.”
A total of 101 volunteers collected more than 2,000 pounds of trash, further beautifying the river for residents of Cherokee County and future visitors.
“We strive to promote recycling, conservation and community service throughout the Cherokee Nation,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in the release. “Our employees do a wonderful job embracing and acting upon that vision. It’s important to make sure our water supplies are clean, beautiful and well preserved for future generations.”
The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission is a state agency established in 1977 by the Scenic Rivers Act. The commission has the power to establish minimum standards for planning and other ordinances necessary to carry out the provisions of the act. The primary emphasis of the commission is to preserve and protect the aesthetic, scenic, historic, archaeological and scientific features of the Illinois River and its tributaries.