Surfrider Chicago Initiates Impromptu Cut River Clean Up

The Cut River is a gem of a little Northern Michigan "tropical" river (at least in the summer), shallow and sand bottomed, crystalline waters (draining the Aruba-esque Higgins L. into Marl L., and then on toward Houghton L.) It is generally 20 yards wide, and varies from 1-6 feet deep, with a nice little current to push you along (or push against you). The 1st section from Higgins-to-Marl is less than a mile long ... twisty-winding through impenetrable wet lands of thick forest, scrub, brush, ferns. It's just a little bit of WILD for ya. All manner of birds-fish-turtles-serpents-beasts can be viewed along the water way, if one is discreet.

Surfrider Chicago, spearheaded by Chair Mitch McNeil, and his local guide/operative Pat Kelley, made a two-man sweep of the 1st section in kayaks, making a concerted effort to remove every bit of plastic they could. Nothing was easy, as large sheets of plastic were often wrapped around submerged tree branches. Fishing line. A GOP campaign poster. Bird seed bags. A large air conditioner covering. Cans. Bottles. Wrappers. Etc al ad infinitum. That's what was harvested. Thanks to staying on task, the guys made that stretch of the river wild and pristine - - at least for a while.

For a nifty video trip down the first section of the Cut, check this out.