Greenfield, MA. September 9, 2009. The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 13th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup takes place along river banks in four New England states on Saturday, October 3. Last year 3,000 volunteers turned out for the Council’s signature fall event—which has grown from scattered groups at a few sites a decade back, to a chain of helpers linking communities along the 410 mile Connecticut River and its tributaries. Last year that network of helpers collected over 100 tons of trash including appliances, discarded tires and thousands of bottles and cans along the region’s riverbanks.

In light of that success CRWC is asking locals to help out early by scouting for sites in need of cleaning up and reporting any potential new river cleanup sites by emailing Christine Luis-Schultz, CRWC’s Cleanup Coordinator, at cleanup@ctriver.org or by phoning her at (413) 772-2020, ext. 201. “New sites are always welcome,” says Christine, “The Cleanup gathers people from all walks of life for part of a weekend, accomplishing big things in a relatively short time.” To date, over 35 groups and 1,500 volunteers have signed up in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut communities this year. “A lot of work goes on behind the scenes,” Luis-Schultz says, “Gathering sponsors, coordinating with group leaders, and distributing supplies. That’s why we ask volunteers to register early so we can have things all set to go on Cleanup Day.”

The event’s title sponsor is NRG Middletown Power, with additional help coming from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ Tony Lovell Memorial Fund, Covanta Energy Corporation, Lane Construction Corporation, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), and TransCanada, “We could not accomplish this monumental task year after year without an amazing turnout of volunteers and the support we receive from generous sponsors,” says CRWC’s Executive Director Chelsea Gwyther, “Our river communities always emerge from Source to Sea Cleanup a little brighter and better than they were before. Come out and join us.”

Civic, church, scout and business groups, as well as individuals, are encouraged to get information and register for the Cleanup by visiting CRWC’s website at: www.ctriver.org. Lists of groups working in each state are posted on the site. People can either join a group, or form a new one if no one is working to clean an identified site. Contact Cleanup Coordinator Christine Luis-Schultz at cleanup@ctriver.org or (413) 772-2020, ext. 201, with further questions.

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For press information contact: Christine Luis-Schultz, Cleanup Coordinator, at (413) 772-2020, ext. 201 or cluis-schultz@ctriver.org; or Chelsea Gwyther, Executive Director, at (413) 772-2020, ext. 202 or cgwyther@ctriver.org (Connecticut); Andrea Donlon, River Steward, at (413) 772-2020, ext. 205 or adonlon@ctriver.org (Massachusetts); or David Deen, River Steward, at (802) 869-2792 or ddeen@ctriver.org (Vermont / New Hampshire).

Connecticut River Watershed Council has been a non-profit advocate for the 11,000 square-mile watershed of the Connecticut River emphasizing fisheries restoration, erosion prevention, land conservation, and water quality since 1952.