25th annual “Source to Sea Cleanup” to be held September 24-26

Franklin County
Source to Sea cleanup crew

Photo courtesy Connecticut River Conservancy

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) 25th annual Source to Sea Cleanup is being held on September 24-26 this year and they’re looking for volunteers.

The annual Source to Sea Cleanup is one of the nation’s largest river clean up efforts and encompasses all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin (NH, VT, MA, CT). Last year over 1,300 people volunteered to remove trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails and more. It was held over the entire month of September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“For our 25th anniversary we wanted to make this year’s Cleanup a truly community-driven event,” said Stacey Lennard, CRC’s Cleanup Coordinator. “The Source to Sea Cleanup strengthens community while cleaning up our rivers and streams. It’s an opportunity for you to make a difference. Our new registration system lets anyone report a trashy site and volunteer in whatever capacity they can – all in one place.”

For the last 25 years, CRC has coordinated this annual event across four states, targeting trash-ridden sites, organizing volunteers, and equipping them with the tools needed to get the job done. The new streamlined registration process will allow anyone to report a site in need of trash removal, start their own cleanup group, or find a local volunteer group to join. Groups can clean up anywhere trash is found or can adopt one of the reported trash sites in need of cleaning. Group leaders can order free gloves and trash bags from CRC through the same system. Participants are also encouraged to share photos and videos of their experience using hashtag #RiverWitness on social media.

“If you need help finding a site you can check out our map of reported trash sites in need of adoption or get in touch with us,” Lennard said. “Make sure you’re familiar with what’s out there and what risks there may be for your volunteers. Scouting your site ahead of time is very important.”

Group leaders are an essential part of the Source to Sea Cleanup, responsible for bringing together a team of volunteers, scouting a cleanup site and collecting, disposing and tallying trash. Cleanup volunteers can use the CleanSwell smartphone app, developed by the Ocean Conservancy, to tally this year’s trash.

Anyone interested volunteering can get more information and register at www.ctriver.org/cleanup. CRC is also offering a virtual Cleanup Coffee Hour with more details about this year’s event on September 9 at 5pm. Learn more about registering for the Source to Sea Cleanup, connecting with a group, choosing a Cleanup site, tallying and disposing of your trash, Coffee Hour details and registration at www.ctriver.org/events

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