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Eslava Creek Sessions helps keep Mobile’s waterways beautiful, picking up litter out of Eslava Creek

Published: May. 15, 2022 at 1:28 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Eslava Creek Sessions is helping to keep Mobile’s waterways beautiful and litter-free by picking trash out of Eslava Creek.

A crew of people headed out onto Eslava Creek Sunday morning, possibly one the most trashed and neglected creeks in Mobile, to pick up litter pilling or just floating around.

“We quickly discovered how much litter comes down here, through the waterway, it’s the main watershed, so anytime it rains it just comes down here like a Styrofoam parade,” said Ryan Balthrop, Eslava Creek Sessions founder.

With buckets and bags on deck and a trash picker in hand, we went to see what washed into Eslava creek, getting past the litter trap.

Much of the litter in the creek comes from nearby businesses, cars driving by on the roads above it, or tenants who live next to it.

“We found an air mattress today, there’s the air mattress right there, found shopping carts, tv’s, we find basketballs,” said Balthrop.

Balthrop said the cleanup effort began in 2007 when he bought property on Eslava creek and began inviting people over, heading out on their kayaks and canoes to pick up litter and then coming back to enjoy each other’s company.

“it feels great, it feels good having people out, people care about helping clean up and help where this trash ends up at. It’s just nice to be able to pitch in,” said Chris Wilson.

Wilson, a friend of Balthrop’s has been helping to clean the creek for about 5 years now.

“I happen to have a large boat, I think that’s the only reason they invited me to put the trash in,” said Wilson, “and they pretend like they like me, but I like the trash so it’s good to help clean it all up.”

Balthrop hopes he can continue to spread awareness about where a lot of the trash and litter ends up.

“It doesn’t end up in the street, it ends up in the waterways, and then it ends up in fish and it ends up in The Bay, ends up in The Gulf and where it shouldn’t be.”

Eslava Creek Sessions partners with organizations like Osprey Initiative, Dog River Clearwater Revival, and Keep Mobile Beautiful, who work throughout the year to keep Eslava Creek beautiful.

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