Alma citizens raise growing concerns over river pollution

file000849949600Researchers and environmental activists from Alma are heading into spring by working to inform people about high E Coli levels in the Pine River.

Two professors at Alma College reported that E Coli levels in the river regularly rise above recommended recreation levels, and after heavy rainfall can climb above even basic recommended exposure levels.

The professors say more data is needed but the high E Coli levels are likely caused by heavy runoff from farms.

Gary Rayburn is the Chairman of the Healthy Pine River, an action group associated with the river. He said the group is hoping to raise awareness.

“We need everyone around to get involved because our rivers are polluted, the politicians and the legislators know this but they have a whole ‘wait and see what will happen’ attitude.”

Ray Simcox is a concerned citizen. He said he lives along the Honeyoey Creek, which feeds into the Pine RIver.

“We used to enjoy the recreation in the creek but now we don’t fish there, we don’t swim in it, and our drinking water comes out of there so we’re very concerned and we want to do what we can to help clean it up.”

Rayburn, from the Healthy Pine River, said he encourages people to reach out to their representatives to try and push for legislative changes.