Caring for our planet

John M. Peach, executive director of Save the River, opens a sewer grate outside the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton to inspect a newly installed LittaTrap. Alex Gault/Watertown Daily Times




Two local projects show the importance of getting residents involved in the effort to preserve our environment.

Save the River in Clayton installed devices called LittaTraps beneath two sewer grates outside the Antique Boat Museum in the village, according to a story published Aug. 2 by the Watertown Daily Times. The units catch garbage drawn into the grates before they enter the St. Lawrence River. Volunteers will clean the debris out of the devices on a regular basis.

“The traps consist of two pieces — a netted basket in the center to catch any large items that flow into the drain, and a bracket, bolted to the sides of the drain, to hold the basket in place,” the article reported. “Initially, Save the River wanted to install four LittaTraps, putting two more on Riverside Drive near [its] main office. Downtown construction, which has seen the roads and sidewalks of Clayton’s downtown historic district renewed, has prevented those traps’ installation for now. Even communities farther south of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario could benefit from LittaTraps, Mr. Peach said. Cities and towns like Watertown, Carthage, Pulaski and Oswego, on rivers that feed into the lake, could see significant environmental benefits from the installation of LittaTraps …”

Another environmental initiative involves Save the River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust. The groups are recruiting volunteers to gull exclusion grids in the Thousand Islands region later this month. The grids will be removed Aug. 24 from Eagle Wings Shoals and Tidd Island.

“Set up every spring, the grids provide protection from gulls and safe nesting areas for the common tern during breeding season,” an article published Aug. 2 by the Watertown Daily Times reported. “By late summer, common tern chicks fledge and the grids are removed for the fall and winter.”

Lunch will be provided to participants, and advance registration for the event is necessary. Register by emailing, calling 315-686-5345 or visiting

Caring for our environment is an obligation we all share. We commend these organizations for the services they perform. People are encouraged to support them financially and volunteer their time to carry out this work.