If you’ve ever crossed the Copper River bridge near Chitina, chances are you’ve noticed several half-buried vehicles, motorhomes, and other junk upstream from the bridge, where the Kotsina River joins the Copper River. And chances are if you’ve noticed, you’ve wondered why “someone” hasn’t gotten them out of there!
The Copper River Watershed Project has had this project on its wish list for years, but funding has been a huge barrier. This summer we had a breakthrough when Dave Cruz of Cruz Construction volunteered to use his company manpower and heavy equipment and to extract the vehicles. A local property owner, fishwheel operator, and lover of Copper River salmon, Dave Cruz has a construction crew working in the area and saw it as an opportunity to do a public service and help protect the fishery.
With this unexpected and generous offer from Cruz Construction, a huge financial barrier to the project has been lifted. Now we are fundraising to cover the costs of hauling the vehicles and disposal fees at the landfill. If we meet our fundraising goal the cleanup will take place in late September or early October when the water levels are low.