Cleaning the river

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, January 19, 2012

For the past year, the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance has been on a mission to bring Suffolk’s signature river back to the state it once was.

They came closer to that recently when BASF, which holds 222 acres of property on Wilroy Road, signed on with the organization’s Corporate River Savers Program, which encourages businesses in Suffolk — particularly those that own land along the river’s banks — to do their part on a regular basis to help the river.

BASF has committed to hosting Clean the Shoreline Days twice a year, during which employees will go out during the workday to pick up litter along the waterway on the company’s property.

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It shouldn’t take a special program to get a company to keep its property clean, and we certainly hope BASF was doing so before. But this move will encourage more rank-and-file employees to get involved in the process and demonstrates good corporate citizenship — especially since the employees are doing it on the company’s time.

BASF isn’t the first to sign on — Volvo Penta, which has a marina on the Chuckatuck Creek, helps the organization with its water quality monitoring and oyster restoration projects.

The Nansemond River and its tributaries are important environmental, recreational, cultural and historical resources in the city. Their condition has worsened over the years because of a number of factors, not the least of which is human interference.

However, the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance and its partners, which now include Volvo Penta and BASF, are taking steps toward making things better for the city’s waterways. Other corporations in Suffolk should take note and contact the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance to learn how they can help.