SPOKANE, Wash. — The non-profit organization, Spokane Riverkeepers, work to keep the Spokane River clean and their latest find came as a surprise to members of the organization. Basketballs!
Jule Shultz with the Spokane Riverkeepers said this year's winter and spring floods caused a lot of debris to wash into the river. However, he said the basketballs could have ended up in the river more recently.
"They could've come from Hoopfest, I'm not sure exactly how they would have got into the river from Hoopfest,” Shultz said. “We never really see Hoopfest trash and that's what makes me a little suspicious because Hoopfest usually does a great job cleaning up."
Spokane Riverkeepers run weekly garbage patrols by rafting the Spokane River and collecting trash from hard to reach places. The basketballs might present their greatest challenge yet.
"There's essentially a cliff right above that little pool there so you have to somehow get into that pool and below that is a waterfall,” Shultz said. “So there's just danger all over the place there."
Instead of immediately fishing for these basketballs, Shultz said the Riverkeepers will just have to wait until the water level rises to retrieve them. Water levels are expected to rise the Tuesday after Labor Day when water is let out from Lake Coeur d'Alene.
"That'll wash those basketballs straight down stream and we'll be out there waiting for them,” Shultz said.
Once the Riverkeepers collect all the basketballs they hope to either donate them to Hoopfest or return them to their rightful owner.