Press release: for immediate release

Greenfield, MA. September 30, 2009. A volunteer army is poised to fan out along the Connecticut River and its tributaries this Saturday for the 13th Annual Connecticut River Source to Sea Cleanup. Hosted by the Connecticut River Watershed Council, the Western New England effort has become a signature fall event for scores of groups in the region, drawing on the energy of thousands of river advocates. Last year from the New Hampshire border with Quebec to Long Island Sound at Old Lyme, Connecticut, 3,004 volunteers worked along the river’s 410-mile long basin, clearing over 100 tons of illicitly discarded trash, appliances and tires.

“The community spirit brought out by the Source to Sea Cleanup is always inspiring,” says Chelsea Gwyther, CRWC’s Executive Director, “It’s really a show of force about how much people care about the environment and how important healthy rivers are for the well-being of our cities, towns, and local economies.” Over its lifetime the cleanup has cleared over 500 tons of trash and removed thousands of habitat-choking tires from New England waterways. “If you stacked up the tires they would reach a half mile into the sky,” says CRWC Cleanup Coordinator Christine Luis-Schultz, “We already have over 2,500 volunteers and 85 groups registered, so we’ll continue to make more progress this year. Tire numbers and the amount of trash found are actually beginning to go down at some of our regular Cleanup sites.”

Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut all have schools, scouts, churches and business groups volunteering in the Saturday effort. Couches, TVs, discarded engines, and even a derelict motor boat have been part of the booty uncovered and hauled away by Cleanup volunteers, says River Steward Andrea Donlon, “This year we have big groups going out to tackle the sites people helped us identify. Source to Sea accomplishes a great deal in a short time, and the enthusiasm for protecting rivers in MA continues to grow.”

The event’s returning title sponsor is NRG Middletown Power, with additional help from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ Tony Lovell Memorial Fund, Covanta Energy Corporation, Lane Construction Corporation, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) of Connecticut, and TransCanada. Last minute volunteers can register by visiting CRWC’s website at: www.ctriver.org, where lists of groups working in each state are posted. Contact Cleanup Coordinator Christine Luis-Schultz at: (413) 772-2020, ext. 201, with further questions.

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For press information contact: Chelsea Gwyther, Executive Director, CRWC, at: (413) 772-2020, ext. 202, or cgwyther@ctriver.org, cell: 413-658-8552; or Christine Luis-Schultz, Cleanup Coordinator, CRWC, at: (413) 772-2020, ext. 201, or cluis-schultz@ctriver.org, cell: 413-262-5448; also, Karl Meyer, Communications, at: 413-772-2020, kmeyer@ctriver.org.

In Massachusetts: Andrea Donlon, River Steward at: adonlon@ctriver.org, or 413-772-2020, ext. 205, cell: 413-512-1281

In Vermont and New Hampshire, David Deen, River Steward, at: ddeen@ctriver.org; or phone: 802-869-2792; or Richard Ewald, Director of Planning and Development, rewald@ctriver.org, 413-772-2020, ext. 206, cell: 802-376-3854.