MILTON — The civic organization, the Blackwater Pyrates annually conduct a river cleanup removing all manner of garbage from Santa Rosa County rivers. Thirty people on 24 kayaks, canoes and other watercraft traveled the 4-plus mile length of river between Bob’s and Pucker Point picking up trash.
This year's endeavor began at the bridge across from Bob’s Canoes on Munson Highway, according to Blackwater Pyrate Will "Leatherneck" Wilson, after parking vehicles at Pucker Point, the end point of the mission.
"A big ‘thank you’ to the owners of Pucker Point for allowing us to traverse their private property to unload our craft," Wilson said in an email.
"We scoured every sandbar, and the woods behind every sandbar, the bottom of the creek, along the banks, and the big challenge," Wilson said, "log jams. All kinds of trash gets caught up in the log jams. They were a big challenge as the current was swift and you can flip over when pushed up against one if not very careful."
At the end of the trip, one Pyrate member with a pontoon boat took the entire trash haul to the nearby Navy boat dock and used the Navy’s dumpsters.
The Pyrates keep up this annual tradition but would like to be able to quit.
"Please, put us out of one job we have, River Clean Up by not littering," Wilson said.