By  | 

Mountain residents are pleading for federal money to help clean up creeks polluted by sand -- scattered by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

C-DOT spreads about 15-thousand tons of traction sand each winter on a ten-mile stretch of Vail Pass to keep vehicles from sliding around.

But the 30-year accumulation has begun to fill the rocky river bottoms with fine, fish-killing silt.

A 20 million dollar effort to remove dunes as high as six feet from Black Gore Creek is under way.

The Eagle River Watershed Council says federal help is needed. Executive director Caroline Bradford compares it to trying to move a beach with a play-shovel set.

Colorado Representative Mark Udall toured the area yesterday.