Flashy rain fills trap with debris … and plastic bottles

Environmental, Litter-Free Rivers, Neuse River Watershed, Stormwater Issues, Stormwater Runoff, Volunteer, Volunteers, Water Quality

Posted on June 6th, 2024

Dom James, Stacie Hagwood and Sound Rivers water-quality intern Eloise MacLean with a post-cleanout trash trap.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop and water-quality intern Eloise MacLean hosted a trash trap cleanout on Little Rock Creek last Friday.

Little Rock Creek, a tributary of the Neuse River, runs through the grounds of the Walnut Creek Wetland Center. Assisting with the cleanout were Walnut Creek Wetland Center staff member Dom James and Stacie Hagwood, who recently retired as Walnut Creek Wetland Park manager.

The staff of the center alerted Samantha that last week’s heavy rain had knocked the trap askew.

“They had a super-flashy rain and the trash trap with jacked up with wood debris. A significant rain event sometimes puts a lot of wood in the stream,” Sam said. “We had to give it some love.”

The Little Rock Creek trash trap was full of woody debris washed into the creek by a hard rain.

While they pulled plenty of woody debris from the trap, they also removed 24 pounds of actual garbage, the majority of which was plastic bottles.

“It takes a lot of plastic to get to 24 pounds,” Sam said.

The Little Rock Creek trash trap was the third installed on small waterways in the Neuse & Tar-Pamlico, as part of Sound Rivers’ Litter-Free Rivers program. Since its installation in March 2023, more than 600 pounds of trash have been trapped and removed from the creek. Four other trash traps are located on Jack’s Creek in Washington, Duffyfield Canal in New Bern, Adkin Branch in Kinston and Greensmill Run in Greenville. The City of Raleigh is planning to partner with Sound Rivers and The Great Raleigh Cleanup for another two traps in the Raleigh area, and a potential third new trap will be located in Tarboro.

If you or your group would like to volunteer for a trash trap cleanout, we’d love to have your help! Email Emily at to set it up.

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