HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke Conservation Commission and Department of Conservation and Reservation took part in a yearly cleanup event of the Connecticut River.

From the Long Island Sound up to the Canadian border, thousands of volunteers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont did their part in the annual source to sea cleanup.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday morning volunteers gathered at Slim Shad Point in Holyoke to clean up the Connecticut River and surrounding areas. With soda cans, plastic bags, and even mattresses being dumped in or by the river, Source to Sea says that we all have a responsibility to solve the trash problem affecting our rivers.

Over 1,000 volunteers participated in over 100 locations on Saturday, and that meant the event made a big difference. The 26th annual Connecticut River Conservancy’s Source to Sea is eyeing three whole tons of trash cleaned up over the course of it’s history.

“And every year now, people come out and make a huge difference,” said Brett Morrison, director of Development Connecticut River Conservancy. “This is a way that everybody can have a part in making this river healthier and more life filled space.”

The river was seen as a dumping ground in the past, and trash that’s not directly thrown into the water ends up in there most times anyway, creating an unsafe place to swim, to fish, and more, making it such an important cause to many.

Joshua Epstein, an interpreter with the Department of Conservation and Reservation, told 22News, “It’s great to have the opportunity to be an individual apart of such an important project and help restore this beautiful river.”

For more information on this annual event you can click here.