Moncton traditional scout leader fed up with garbage along Petitcodiac River

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Moncton traditional scout leader is fed up with illegal dumping
WATCH ABOVE: A Moncton scout leader fed up with illegal dumping is taking it upon himself to clean up a newly discovered mess. As Global’s Shelley Steeves reports, he’s going to need some help to tackle the problem – Aug 9, 2016

Moncton traditional scout leader Jamie Chiasson says he’s heartbroken after finding piles of garbage dumped near a river that feeds into the Petitcodiac River.

On Sunday, while trail riding along Pacific Junction Road, Chiasson says he came across at least 30 dirty oil filers, cans and garbage littering North River.

“I am heartbroken, you know. I actually shed a tear and I am not ashamed to admit that,” Chiasson said.

In addition, he says the sight of a small oil spill in the water is upsetting — he and his father fished the river when he was a child, and scouts once used the land for excursions.

READ MORE: Moncton environmental group turning Pokemon Go into awareness campaign

Like a good scout, Chiasson has now taken it upon himself to try to clean up the mess.

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“The oil is completely layered on top of the water here,” Chiasson said. “Yesterday I must have pulled out 25 four-litre oil jugs.”

Chiasson says the road leading down to the river has also become a dumping ground. Despite the signs warning of hefty fines for illegal dumping, piles of garbage have been left along the side of the dirt road.

“We found basically full furnishings for a living room with a couple of couches and dresser drawers,” Chiasson said.

Among the debris, Chaisson found ID’s and even a passport, which he plans to turn over to the RCMP to “see if they can resolve the situation.”

Christine McLauchlin from the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance says illegal dumping continues to be a problem along rivers and streams leading into the Petitcodiac River.

“There are still a lot of people in this watershed who just don’t understand the impacts [dumping] can have on the wildlife,” she said, adding that even the smallest amount of oil can choke off oxygen for fish and contaminate birds’ feathers.

McLauchlin says she plans to send a group of staff and volunteers to help Chiasson clean up the garbage this week, but says ultimately the responsibility falls under the jurisdiction of the Department Environment and Local Government.

READ MORE: More than 5000 pounds of trash litters landscape following Pollet River Run

Regional Director of Environment and Local Government, Laurie Collette told Global News the department was made aware of the dumping and the oil spill last week and “we sent a crew to the area on Friday to start the initial clean up of the oil.”

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He says crews will return to the site to finish the job on Wednesday.

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