Dozens of dirty diapers, bags of trash collected from Jordan Lake

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)- Piles of food wrappers and trash are piled up around the shoreline just steps away from the water at Jordan Lake.

“It was an astounding amount even for me even after 10 years of doing this. I’ve been out on the lake, I don’t know how many times,” said Fran DiGiano of Clean Jordan Lake.

DiGiano posted a video to the group’s Facebook page over the weekend. It should litter and trash surrounding and spilling out of a plastic trash bag hanging on a tree limb.

DiGiano said a litter cleanup had taken place just two weeks prior.

Part of the mess was finally cleaned up with help from Boy Scout Troop 208. The collected 15 garbage bags worth of trash that included 25 dirty diapers.

Clean Jordan Lake was started by DiGiano 10 years ago. Since then, they’ve had 500 large scale events collecting 17-thousand bags of trash and hundreds of car tires.

“This just shocked me terribly last week to see this especially because we had just been out there,” said DiGiano.

He said he’s noticed the lake is seeing an usually large number of visitors.

Digiano said, “Just as unusual is the amount of trash.”

He’s disappointed people can’t keep this place clean. Signs asking people to take their trash with them don’t seem to work. Those signs often have trash sitting just below them.

“What we’re faced with is limited places to go where its in a natural state. [Jordan Lake] is an oasis, I call it, under encroaching urbanization.”

He says the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission manages this part of the shoreline. DiGiano said their property is meant for use as games land and not recreational. He suspects the closure of state park access points is funneling people onto WRC gaming land.

“They just don’t have a budget. Their budget does not include staff that could manage the trash,” he said.

So, it’s up to the public to keep it clean. That means taking whatever you bring with you to the lake, back to your home.

How to help

DiGiano said he’s not giving up on clean up efforts any time soon.

“I’ve come close to that but I don’t know something good always happens,” he said.

COVID-19 is making it impossible to do any large clean up events but Clean Jordan Lake is encouraging individuals to do their own clean ups in groups no bigger than five volunteers. Click here for more information on that.

If you would like to help with more frequent clean up, you may consider joining the Adopt-a-Shoreline program. That program is designed for civic and religious groups, high school clubs and classes, boating clubs and business. Click here to learn about that.

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