Volunteers are still needed for the 19th Annual PA River Sweep, the largest organized volunteer river cleanup effort in the country, this June 20 from 8 a.m. to noon in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
“This event is all about river awareness and teaching people to respect our natural resource,” said Betsy Mallison, Pennsylvania River Sweep Coordinator. “During the history of the River Sweep, we have seen a decrease in the amount of trash as people are recognizing the importance of our rivers and taking better care of them. However, we still have areas that need to be cleaned up and will be at more than 20 sites in five counties this year.”
River Sweep, an annual six-state effort to clean up litter and debris in the Ohio River watershed, is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection, the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission and a number of Pennsylvania corporate sponsors including Duke Energy, Duquesne Light, Dominion Foundation, Koppers, PPG Industries, Toyota, U.S. Steel, Neville Chemical Company and Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C.
The event winds through Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Illinois, covering more than 2,400 miles of shoreline.
Last year, more than 600 volunteers collected 58 tons of the trash and debris along the Ohio, Allegheny, Beaver, Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers and their tributaries at 31 cleanup sites. In 2007, 460 volunteers collected 66 tons of trash at 31 sites. Ten years ago, 916 volunteers cleaned up 181 tons of trash from 56 sites.
Volunteers who participate receive trash bags and a souvenir T-shirt. Click here for a list of PA cleanup sites.