Westfield River Watershed cleanup honors late environmental activist Jack Coughlin

Hampden County

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A watershed cleanup drive was held in Westfield Saturday and it was dedicated to an activist who gave his life for his passion for the environment.

22News covered many stories about Jack Coughlin’s commitment to keep the area free of debris. He died one week ago from injuries suffered when he was hit by a pickup truck weeks earlier.

On Saturday, his son took part in the Westfield River Watershed Association’s Agawam cleanup drive.

Sean Coughlin vividly recalls his dad’s commitment.

“He retired at age 55, and at that point, he pretty much dedicated his life fulltime to cleaning up the environment,” he said. “He cleaned up parks, ponds, wherever there was a problem, my father would go.”

“They called my father and said ‘Jack, there’s a trash problem,’ he would go there and take care of it,” Sean continued.

Jack Coughlin was deeply concerned about the nip bottles strewn by the sides of roads and to that end he was in the forefront of state legislation leading to a reduction in discarded nip bottles.

Sheryl Becker, a member of the Westfield River Watershed Association told 22News, “It’s a state bill that will require and provide a refundable fee for nip bottles because nip bottles don’t have any refundable fee.”

Saturday’s Earth day cleanup was a job well done. A job that Jack Coughlin, the man in whose name this environmental effort was dedicated to, would have been pleased with the results.

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