Photo: Spring cleaning

Jerry Holly of Specialty Excavating works to remove debris from a jetty created decades ago along the banks of the Kenai River at river mile 22.5 on Wednesday afternoon in the Funny River area. The project is part of a larger debris removal program funded through grants and other sources and organized by the Donald E. Gilman River Center and Kenai Peninsula Borough resource planner John Czarnezki. The idea is to remove the build up of junk and debris that can, or has, turned into a navigational or environmental hazard along the Kenai Peninsula's various watersheds. Czarnezki said he wasn't sure why the jetty was created years ago -- it could have been to support the bank, create a fishing hole or provide river access or crossing during low water levels, among others. Holly said he pulled compressors, cabling, concrete, rebar, gears and sprockets and a host of other items from the jetty.

"Any time we can get foreign materials out of the river the better," Czarnezki said.

Several more debris removal projects are planned across the Peninsula this summer.

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