by Andrea WIrth
Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LMNRA) is home to 20 of Clark County’s regional eBird hotspots and 33 Hole Overlook is at the top of that list in popularity with 222 species reported and 730+ eBird checklists. Lately, several rarities have been spotted there including: Mountain Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Franklin’s Gull, Red Phalarope, Sabine’s Gull, and likely others I missed.
Trash. That’s one thing that’s not rare at 33 Hole, however.
It’s hard to miss if you are standing anywhere near the shoreline. Plastic and glass bottles, cans, toilet paper, wipes, fishing line, shoes, plastic bags of all types, and just about any other kind of garbage you can imagine is there.
We realized that we were enjoying the beauty of the birds (rare and common) while their habitat was badly in need of attention. This inspired the question of whether there was some interest in doing a clean up there. Luckily, the answer was a resounding yes! Quickly a date was picked, we reached out to LMNRA about doing an informal cleanup and soon learned they are well prepared for volunteer events such as this. Once we were put in touch with Miranda (Community Volunteer Ambassador), things started to roll along. Our original ask was for permission to hold the event, and perhaps a little support with a dumpster or place to leave the garbage. They not only provided that, but they supported us with tools and supplies such as trash grabbers, bags, gloves, and more. Their support and help with this event is very much appreciated!
Overall fourteen volunteers collected 25 bags of trash, along with several large items and buckets of glass during a 3-hour window. Thank you to all the Red Rock Audubon members, friends, and family members that turned out.
What can we all do to help this situation?
While this event was organized as a one-time thing, and really only addressed a drop in the bucket of the trash that pollutes our local waterways, please reach out to President Paul Rodriguez or Field Trips Chair Andrea Wirth if you would like us to hold an event like this in the future.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the RRAS calendar often. There you will find birding events as well as calls for volunteers to maintain the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and the Rainbow Owl Preserve.
photos by Miranda Klimas