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Upper Little Red clean-up set

By Peyton Rose

Volunteers will gather at 9 a.m. Sept. 29 at Archey Fork Park in Clinton for a river clean-up.

The upper Little Red River that runs through downtown Clinton is enjoyed by canoeists and anglers throughout Arkansas. This scenic river is home to world-class fishing and an impressive suite of aquatic animal species including 13 considered rare or endangered.

The river is threatened by sediment from eroding river banks, poorly maintained gravel roads, and the clearing of riparian forest. Southwestern Energy, The Nature Conservancy, Van Buren County Conservation Districts, Arkansans for Responsible Gas Development, the city of Clinton, Arkansas Canoe Club, and others are working together to restore a several mile portion of the river in Clinton that was channelized in response to flooding in the early 1980s. The channelized flood control project, though providing an important flood protection role, does not provide good habitat for fish species and has been eroding sediment into Greers Ferry Lake. The restoration will consist of creating a meandering channel within the existing floodway and restoring riparian habitat. The project will reduce sedimentation, improve water quality, improve aquatic habitat, and improve the aesthetic quality of this great part of Clinton for people to use and enjoy.

This restoration project will be kicked off with a river clean-up on Sept. 29. Volunteers will meet at the Archey Fork Park in Clinton at 9 a.m. to review the details and pick up supplies. The Nature Conservancy will be giving a short presentation about the importance of Arkansas Stream Restoration and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Aquarium will be on display.

Lunch will be provided by First Service Bank and will be served to all participants at noon to conclude the clean-up. For more information contact Peyton Rose at peyton@arpanel.org.

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