The Piney Creek Watershed Association, in partnership with local and regional organizations, recently launched a project to install innovative litter catching devices in two Beckley streams. The Beckley “Trash Trout” ™ Project was inspired by successful projects in western NC, where these devices have helped raise awareness about litter in rivers and creeks.

Luke Stevens is an environmental specialist with the Beckley Sanitary Board, one of the partner organizations on the Trash Trout ™ project.  “Littering is a serious environmental problem,” said Stevens, “When litter falls or is thrown onto the ground, it can easily blow into a creek, where it hurts wildlife, harms water quality, and diminishes the creek’s natural beauty.”

These Beckley litter catchers also help reduce water pollution in downstream areas, such as the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

“The Piney Creek Watershed, where the Trash Trout ™ are installed, leads into the New River Gorge National Park.  Litter in Beckley is about a nine-mile float from the New River,” said Brittany Chaber, Executive Director of Piney Creek Watershed Association, “We want to spread the word that our habits have an impact on our resources, neighbors, and water quality.  Littering causes problems for everyone.”

So far in 2023, the two Trash Trout ™ have captured and removed more than 100 pounds of litter from Beckley creeks, including nearly 150 plastic bottles.  Stevens and Chaber say the success of the project is due to the many people who have volunteered and given support.  This project was funded in part by the WV Department of Environmental Protection Litter Control Grant and the Beckley Area Foundation.  The Southern Conservation District, Asheville GreenWorks, and the New River Conservancy have also provided support.

The new devices will be unveiled at a Celebration on Friday, April 21st, at 3:00 pm.  Visitors are welcome and should meet behind the old Beckley Fire Department Training Tower on Eisenhower Dr, between Taco Bell and Goodyear Auto Service.  More information can be found at