Tires removed from the river

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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A recreational float down the Staunton River should be a fun one, not one where individuals are dodging old tires that have been disposed of.

Jonathan Morris is a Charlotte County native and owner of RiverThuggs, an outdoor recreation company specializing in kayak floats. He has spent most of his life on the river and over the years has spent time cleaning up portions of the Staunton River.

Just recently, Morris and a few volunteers walked the river collecting old tires.

“We made it about 50 yards and collected 22 tires out of the river,” Morris said. “It’s a lot of work … some places the water is deep and the currents are fast and the tires are filled with mud and rocks.”

According to Morris the tires that are collected from the river are recycled.

Morris said decades ago an automotive shop in South Boston used to use the river to dispose of old tires. Over time, portions of the river have become overrun, making a peaceful float down the river a hazard.

“I used to go tubing and I remember one time on a float, I looked down and saw all of these tires and just thought they don’t belong there,” Morris said.

Morris has been cleaning up the river of old tires for years now.

“Somebody has to clean it up,” he said. “It’s not going to do it itself.”

Morris and a group of volunteers are planning another river clean-up on Sept. 16 and are seeking more volunteers to help the job go quicker.

To volunteer to help Morris, visit Riverthuggs’ Facebook page or call (434) 661-0042.