College students celebrating Memorial Day weekend by California’s Shasta Lake left behind hoard of trash, according to US Forest Service officials.

Last weekend, approximately 3,000 students from the University of California, Davis and the University of Oregon partied at Shasta Lake, a 30,000-acre reservoir in the golden state, and left piles of debris cluttered around the lake.

According to forest service officials, despite being asked to clean up after themselves, the students left behind trash including cups, cans, plastic wrappers and pool floats.

Speaking to CBS, Shasta-Trinity National Forest recreation staff officer Deborah Carlisi said that staff members handed out trash bags to students for them to pack up their items.

“Some students used them, some students didn’t,” Carlisi said. A three-person cleanup crew ultimately spent six hours picking up the trash around the lake. Nevertheless, not all the trash was removed.

Due to rocky beaches, high water levels and dangerous water conditions, cleanup crews will not be able to pick up the trash at the bottom of the lake “until late next month or early July”, said Carlisi.

“What was left behind in the lake could be damaging to our fish and wildlife, which is a big problem. If a deer goes down to the water and eats a plastic wrapper, that would make them sick,” she added.

In response to the litter, the University of Oregon issued a statement in which it apologized for its students’ actions.

“The garbage left behind does not represent the values of our institution. We are sorry for the impact to the island and extra work for the forest service,” the statement said, KGW 8 reports.

“We are investigating this event and working with the US Forest Service and our students to remediate the damage and hopefully prevent similar actions in the future. This is not a university sanctioned or sponsored event but is attended by university students, many of whom are members of university-recognized fraternities and sororities,” the university added.

Similarly, the University of California, Davis announced that it was investigating the incident, saying, “The university was disappointed to learn of this conduct, and is exploring ways of working with students to help restore the site or otherwise address the situation. We are still assessing information from the forest service.

“Students are expected to comply with all laws, and failure to do so may result in discipline under the university policy on student conduct. Student visits to Shasta Lake over Memorial Day weekend are not sanctioned or sponsored by the university,” it continued.

The Guardian has reached out to the forest service for comment.

source