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September 19, 2018

Historical Area Of Oswego River ‘Trashed’

FULTON, NY – On Sunday, a group of local Oswego paddlers along with visiting paddlers were exploring the historic Battle Island area of the Oswego River.

Partial collection of stuff that had been scattered around.

Partial collection of stuff that had been scattered around.

Passing by the south end of the island, opposite Battle Island Golf Course, some type of manmade items could be seen from the kayaks on the island.

Two of the paddlers went to investigate; they stopped and went ashore at a section of Battle Island that is sometimes used for picnicking and camping (unofficially).

What they found was an abandoned encampment where a ruined tent/clothing, spoiled food and human waste were left.

They said that the area reeked with foul odor.

Human waste

Human waste

“This is an area of historical significance and beauty,” one of the group said.

Some of the group returned to the area Monday to attempt to clean up the site.

It took them three canoe loads full to take out the trash, they said, adding that the stench of the human feces made people ill.

The historic Battle Island area of the Oswego River is steeped in local history.

The famous ambush by the French and Indians to Lt. Colonel Bradstreet and his convoy of bateaux happened here.

Collapsed and ripped tent

Collapsed and ripped tent

In possible competition with Kingsford, there was a starch factory operating in this area, during the mid 1800s.

Several dams existed at different times with their remnants still to be found.

A guard lock with its fine stonework, from the  original Oswego Canal, is located nearby.

At the makeshift camp, the group discovered a dilapidated tent, chairs, open food, several cases of empty beer cans and other camping items had been left to the elements.

Trunk of felled live tree

Trunk of felled live tree

Live trees had been cut down, nails hammered in trees and burned logs tossed about.

A putrid odor led to an uncovered privy area with human feces exposed.

With limited time and unprepared for this situation, it was decided that some of the group would return on Monday to clean up the area.

A quick foray collected and put much of the items in piles.

“It was embarrassing for the local paddlers to have the guest paddlers see any of this trash in comparison to the surrounding beauty and history of the area,” one of the group said.

Scattered burned logs

Scattered burned logs

Returning on Monday, six large trash bags were filled with the camping remains along with chairs, tables, grills and other metal items that could not be put in the bags.

Three round trips with a canoe were made removing the trashed items.

They want to thank the Canal Authority for accepting and taking care of the collected trash.

It is undetermined at this time, whether camping is actually allowed on the island.

Collection of chairs pillows and other trash

Collection of chairs pillows and other trash

“Illegal or not, the gross misuse of the property, abandonment of food and the camping equipment, leaves one to wonder what type of people would do such a thing?” one of the local paddlers added.

As juxtaposed to this situation, each spring in conjunction with Earth Week and Canal Clean Sweep, volunteers have participated in doing a paddle around this area collecting debris and flotsam that had accumulated over the winter.

With several law enforcement agencies all having watercraft that could patrol these waters, the group suggests, that if possible, there are “weekly or better yet, a bi-weekly patrol of this area during the boating season.”

Collected used food and drink containers and wrappings. Propane canisters can be seen in background.

Collected used food and drink containers and wrappings. Propane canisters can be seen in background.

Items bagged up, except for chairs table and other large items that were hauled out separately. View is looking across to Battle Island Golf Course.

Items bagged up, except for chairs table and other large items that were hauled out separately. View is looking across to Battle Island Golf Course.

5 Responses “Historical Area Of Oswego River ‘Trashed’”

  1. DKE
    November 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    With modern investigative tools available, one would think you could find out ‘who’ these campers were, and cite them for a violation of the trespass law. IF this area isn’t posted, maybe it should be, or at least posted against camping.

    There are individuals who are the ‘missing link’ in society. IOWs: they live like animals, and leave waste like animals. Similar ‘waste’ has been found in bus kiosks in the city not far from bars during the summer months.

    The thing is, we ARE a society, and AS a society, we need to take action to stop this sort of behavior. We’ve been successful (for the most part) with animal waste in our city parks, so we can do this, also.

    Due to its seclusion, maybe these folks thought no one ‘cared’ about this park. Now, if they hear of this, they’ll know they are wrong.

    I’d like to personally thank these citizens for their intervention(s) regarding cleanup. The materials that were left behind would remain like a ‘dump’ for generations were it not for them. Who actually ‘owns’ this island, and are they responsible for cleanup?

    Just curious.

    Again, thanks to the boaters for doing this so the rest of us can enjoy a more pristine natural and historic resource!


  2. scott
    November 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    i have been fishing in that spot a few times in sept and oct. i seen a family group camping there both times. they also built the big duck blind just south of there by the next island. find the duck hunters and you will find the messy group

  3. RSD
    November 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    This message is for Scott.
    Investigating… the duck blind, to be where it is located, a permit is need from the Canal Corp. Aside from that, per DEC law, the owner must post their ID and the blind must be removed by mid March.
    With the rise and fall of the river, freezing and ice flows the blind is sure to come apart and parts wedge ashore and others flow down the river and possibly to the hydro intakes.
    Is there any type of identification you can help relay to us about these people? Boat used, direction they traveled to & from, etc. The ID on the blind is possibly bogus.

  4. Kathy Olson
    November 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Congrats to the people who took it upon themselves to clean it up. It seems like this should be protected by the state or Federal Government as a National Historic Site.

  5. scott
    November 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    all i seen was 2 boats one was a white tri hull w/ windshield and the other was a small maybe 14 ft silver metal boat the small boat went from the camp area over to duck blind to work on it. i really didn’t get to good of a look at the people though. was a couple smaller kids swimming in from of camp site. sorry i couldn’t help more

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