Volunteers to Clean Up the Connecticut River Saturday, Oct. 16

Oct 14th, 2010 | By | Category: River
Sunset on the Connecticut II by Ross Powell (fineartamerica.com/profiles/ross-powell.html)

Sunset on the Connecticut II by Ross Powell (fineartamerica.com/profiles/ross-powell.html)

Originally scheduled for Oct. 2, New England’s biggest one-day river cleanup was postponed when heavy rains made many shorelines unsafe. As the high waters of the Connecticut River’s 2010 “pumpkin flood” drop to more normal flows, volunteers are prepared to turn out Saturday October 16th for the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 14th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup.

via Volunteers to Clean Up the Connecticut River Oct. 16 | The Day

The Council writes:

The Connecticut River gives us power and endless hours of recreational enjoyment. Now, thousands of volunteers are going to give something back to a River that runs through the heart of New England.

Originally scheduled for October 2nd, New England’s biggest one-day river cleanup was postponed when heavy rains made many shorelines unsafe. As the high waters of the Connecticut River’s 2010 “pumpkin flood” drop to more normal flows, volunteers are prepared to turn out Saturday October 16th for the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 14th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup.

What can volunteers expect to find during the Cleanup? Tires, shopping carts, bottles, televisions, and more will be pulled from river banks this weekend.  “Volunteers often can’t believe the trash they find. And, at the end of the day, even though volunteers are often dirty and tired, it feels great to look at the big pile of trash no longer clogging up our waters,” said Jacqueline Talbot, CRWC’s Cleanup Coordinator.

“We’re so impressed with the dedication of our group leaders and volunteers in being so willing to reorganize for another date during this busy time of year,” Talbot said.  “It shows how much people care about clean water in their communities.”

While the Connecticut River’s spring floods during ice-out are well known, high waters in the fall have been known as “pumpkin floods” ever since farmers have planted low-lying areas near the river.  This year’s flood sent 60,000-100,000 ripe pumpkins downriver from a farm in Bradford, VT.

“All those pumpkins floating downstream are a great illustration of what happens to trash in the river, too,” said Talbot.  “The difference is that refuse and garbage threatens wildlife, reduces water quality, and makes the river look like a dump.”

Talbot said cleanup groups already have reported hauling more than five tons of trash from the Connecticut and its tributaries. Among them, in Connecticut the Scantic River Watershed Association alone collected four tons, bringing their group’s total to 100 tons over their years of participation.

“Anyone who wants get their hands dirty for a great cause—whether you have a group or are looking for one, contact us and we’ll get you registered,” says CRWC’s Executive Director Chelsea Gwyther. The quickest way to accomplish this according to Gwyther is to register online at www.ctriver.org  where information, registered groups, and resource materials are posted.

Along with title support from NRG Energy, The Lane Construction Corporation, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), Covanta Energy Corporation, and TransCanada are major contributors to the four-state effort.

Groups, individuals and businesses are asked to sign up ASAP, at: www.ctriver.org, or contact Jacqueline Talbot at: cleanup@ctriver.org  , or by phone at: (860) 704-0057.

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