To cut down on trash getting in local waterways, Davenport is one of just three cities in North America (and the only one in the U.S.) to take part in a new pilot program.

The effort will install trash capture devices on Duck Creek at Marquette Park, and in Goose and Silver Creeks, as part of a larger project to reduce land-based sources of marine litter — led by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in partnership with the EPA

The CEC project aims to build public awareness about the flow of litter downstream to the ocean by deploying litter capture devices and collecting comparable litter data at three sites: local waterways here in Davenport, Sumidero Canyon National Park near Tuxtla Gutierrez in Mexico, and Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada, according to a city of Davenport release.

The CEC represents the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States, collaborating on ways to protect and enhance North America’s environment.

The CEC is a trinational organization through which the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States collaborate, with input from civil society, on the protection, conservation, and enhancement of North America’s environment.

The Marine Litter project will kick off during the July 7 Party in the Park event at Marquette Park, 3200 N. Marquette St., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

The event, featuring many other fun and exciting activities, will be a great opportunity for individuals and families to learn more about the community’s role in litter reduction and prevention for the health of our local, regional and global waterways, the city release said.

“Awareness of the litter issue has been on the rise over the last few years,” Davenport Public Works spokesperson Robbin Dunn said in the release. “We hope to learn a lot from the Marine Litter project and that the experience will result in changing behaviors across Davenport and the QC region for the future of our waterways. Prevention and management of individual and organizational waste is key to reducing litter.”

Lucie Robidoux, head of the Ecosystems Unit at the CEC, said, “Marine litter is a global problem with local sources and solutions. We are excited to pilot this initiative with the Davenport community.”

Through the fall, the Osprey Initiative will maintain and collect data from the devices located in Duck, Goose, and Silver Creeks.

The next phases of the project will include citizen science activities, community conversations and workshops to raise public awareness on the impacts of land-based sources of litter beginning in 2023.

In addition to educating the community on the impacts of litter, Davenport hopes to prevent and reduce local litter for the health of our waterways as part of the project.

As a pilot project and part of regional collaboration, the Waste Commission of Scott County, Partners of Scott County Watersheds, and the cities of Bettendorf, Moline, and Rock Island will be following and supporting the project in various ways, the Davenport release said.

In conjunction with the new litter traps, the city has also announced a new web resource, www.davenportiowa.com/litter, which will offer project updates and tips on how to be a part of the solution to litter.

The CEC was formed in 1994 through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America.

The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations.