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Walking the marsh, with lots of litter

MONTOUR—Rock Cabin Road, also known as Marsh Road, is a two mile stretch of dirt road that runs parallel to the Queen Catharine Marsh. It is also a road that sees frequent littering and trash disposal.
“There’s always been a problem with trash, said Montour town Supervisor David Scott.
While the town owns the road itself, the land from the edge of the road down into the marsh is owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The road runs between Watkins Glen and the village of Montour Falls.
Mike Wasilco, DEC wildlife manager for region 8, said littering is a problem on any public road. Scott said litter is left on Rock Cabin Road, like any back road, because it is isolated. A lot of the trash left behind is currently waste from food: water bottles, beer cans, sandwich wrappers, one gallon milk jugs, etc. Most of the trash can easily be found between the road and marshland, scattered about depending on where people have been. The road offers a scenic view of the marsh and is used by many hunters. Wasilco said the marshland is also open during the hunting season.
“It’s fairly hard to enforce,” said Wasilco, about catching litterers. He explained that unless an officer sees someone actually littering, nothing can be done. Wasilco added that unless an officer finds identification in household trash left on Rock Cabin Road, no charges can be made. A sign currently on the trail states that littering results in a $100 fine.
Elaine Dalrymple, Schuyler Soil and Water Conservation District field manager, said it is an ongoing issue. She explained that unless people are caught littering, it really cannot be stopped. She said there was a clean-up on Earth Day this year, the first in about 10 years.
A cleaning crew from Camp Monterey went out last year to clean the road. Crew Srgt. Terry Cleveland said the state took between two to three crews to clean the area over several days last spring. He said the workers brought out about 100 tires, appliances, and several truckloads of trash. Scott said the highway superintendent sends people out to occasionally clean the side of the road.

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