REDDING, Calif. — There was a flurry of activity near a homeless camp in Redding Tuesday as Redding Police and California Fish and Wildlife wardens worked to clear trash and campsites near the Sacramento River.
Tons of trash was removed from the campsites near Park Marina by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Joseph Laugensen, Game Warden for the CDFW conducting the clean-up said it's to prevent human-caused waste and items going into the waterway
"We're going through the encampments along the river that are impacting the resources here in town," said Laugensen.
He explained it's all part of an effort to protect the river and the species that call it home.
"They're being impacted by the chemicals that are being put off by these transient encampments directly inside that watershed," said Laugensen.
Laugensen said he found a bar of soap in the water by the camp under the Cypress Avenue bridge along Park Marina Drive.
"Yeah, you can see how it's just coming apart. This was in the water itself. Once it comes apart like that, it can go into the soil and further impact species below the soil," Laugensen explained wearing gloves while examining the soap.
He added some of the tents in the area were taken down or thrown away because they were in the high water mark area, making them unsafe
Some of those living in the camp were frustrated by how the clean up was handled.
"I'm going to pack my stuff up. I'm going to go get my husband. I'm going to go pick up my dog and we're going to find another place to camp," said Stephanie Anderson, who was camping in Park Marina.
According to Laugensen, they have collected almost three tons of trash and it's an ongoing struggle to keep the area clean.
"It's a constant battle to move them along out of the watershed," said Laugensen.
The Redding City Council had amended the Redding municipal code on homeless camps and recreational fires back in December to crack down on illegal camping.
There is no update yet on when Redding Police Code Enforcement will begin the process of citing those who are illegally camping.