Companies, citizens rally for rivers

Published 11:43 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Anyone who has taken in a sunset over Bennett’s Creek or has seen just a glimpse of the vistas on the Nansemond River can attest that Suffolk has gorgeous waterways.

The Nansemond, Bennett’s Creek and Chuckatuck Creek make Suffolk rich with waterfront views and beautiful environments.

As more people move into the city, it is becoming increasingly important for the citizens to rally to ensure these waterways are preserved.

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And that’s exactly what the founding members of the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance were looking to do when they formed the group last year.

The organization aims to educate Suffolk residents about the various waterways in the city, with hopes of creating environmental stewards who will work to protect the rivers and creeks.

These bodies of water aren’t just beautiful; they are important to the city’s history and critical to its environment, and the Alliance is doing what it can to enlighten folks who might not have thought about the water’s importance.

In the year it has been operating, the group has done a great job offering programs and projects to help citizens be a part of preserving the waterways.

Last year, the group sought volunteers to glue medallions on storm water drains to remind people everything drains to the river.

The Preservation Alliance also coordinated a program in which students raise oysters to learn about the creatures’ importance in the river ecosystem.

Recently, the group’s Corporate River Saver project has taken off, with another company joining the ranks.

The BASF Corp. committed to helping keep the shoreline of its 222 acres of property on Wilroy Road clean and tidy.

It’s impressive that the Preservation Alliance works so diligently to get citizens and business involved in its efforts.

If all the companies that have shoreline or cause run-off to the rivers take responsibility and care for the environment, the people of Suffolk might be more inclined to do the same.

It’s easy to feel you can’t make a difference as an individual, but seeing a big company taking the opportunity to do its part can serve as inspiration to be an advocate for the environment.

Suffolk has wonderful waterways, and if the city, residents and, of course, companies work together, preserving their beauty won’t seem like such a big task.