River rescue

Published 10:49 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

To characterize our local rivers as anything short of a natural treasure would be to completely understate the value they hold for those who spend time on them. That is why so many of us have been completely sickened in recent days, as photos have emerged of the damage that has been done to the Nottoway River between Courtland and Sebrell.

There will be plenty of time to determine who is responsible for the waste that has made its way into the river, as well as to levy the appropriate penalties and punishments. But the first order of business is to get the river cleaned up.


Word came early Friday to our newsroom that the Southampton County Sheriff’s Department was dispatching a few deputies, along with some inmate assistance, to begin the cleanup process. As of Friday afternoon they were already in the river. Their efforts are to be commended, but we must not stop there.

While we understand there are certain protocols that must be followed in light of such a situation, we encourage the county to deploy all available resources into getting our river healthy again. Trusting the individuals who were so irresponsible as to allow demolished industrial material into the river in the first place is not a sound strategy. Holding them accountable is appropriate. Waiting for them to get it cleaned up is not.