Volunteers Bring Out Batteaus to Remove Tires From James River

Buckingham Co., VA - Hundreds of volunteers were out on the James River Saturday for the first ever Tire-Less James event.

The event encourages people to come out on canoes or boats to help remove tires from the James River.

It's something the people from the Lynchburg Batteau Festival have done before, but the James River Association got involved, and Saturday they kicked off the event in Buckingham County.

"This is a replica of a James River batteau that sailed the James River in the 1700s to the 1800s," said Mike Neal, the captain of the Rose of Nelson batteau.

The Rose of Nelson is helping keep the river clean. Family and friends volunteered to remove tires from the river between Richmond and Lynchburg.

Riverkeeper Pat Carlvert with the JRA helped organize the event.

"We figured this is a great way to get people on the water, engaged in the river and caring for the river, and this way they have something to show at the end of the day," said Carlvert.

Except they didn't really have that much to show.

"Right now, we're not finding a lot of them which is a good thing, but we hope to hit every section," said Carlvert.

Five batteaus were on the water in charge of a 5-mile stretch of the river in Buckingham County. Some had better luck than others finding the tires, but all were happy to be on their vessels, doing some good and having a great time.

"It shows that the historic nature of the boat is still very functional in modern day society to help with things like this," said Neal.

The Heart of Virginia Council Boy Scouts of America also helped organize the event.