Greenfield, MA July 21, 2011– Have you walked along a river or stream bank recently and found discarded cans and plastic bottles, fast food containers or other trash spoiling a beautiful natural place?  If so, the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) wants to know.  The conservation group is asking all watershed residents to report trash sites in need of cleaning up by logging onto their website at www.ctriver.org.  There you can also sign up for the annual Source to Sea Cleanup on Saturday October 1st and join thousands of other volunteers across New England combating their own trash problems.

“Source to Sea Cleanup volunteers have worked hard to combat litter and illegally dumped trash,” says Jacqueline Talbot, River Steward and organizer of the Cleanup. “In the past 14 years, our volunteers have prevented over 650 tons of trash from continuing to pollute the Connecticut River and its tributaries.”

“But the trash keeps showing up.  Removing it helps keep precious water resources clean and our natural spaces safe for families and wildlife.  It’s a big watershed, so we rely on people to let us know about the problem spots. We may not be able to get to all of them this year, but we’ll work with local residents and agencies to get to as many as possible.”

Last year’s call for site suggestions yielded over 15 reports, including a tip about a massive tire dump in Hadley, Massachusetts. (See photos and photo caption below). Based on this information, CRWC worked with state officials and the tires were removed.  Another tip prompted Vermont Academy students, who regularly volunteer for the Source to Sea Cleanup, to pick up illegally dumped trash in Putney, Vermont.

WHAT: Anyone who has a trash tip should contact CRWC at www.ctriver.org or by calling 860-704-0057. Registration is also open for the 2011 Source to Sea Cleanup.  All are welcome.  Individuals can work solo, start a group or join a group.

Lead sponsor for CRWC’s 2011 Cleanup is NRG Middletown Power.  Other major support is provided by Lane Construction, the Metropolitan District Commission, TransCanada and Covanta.

The Connecticut River Watershed Council has been a nonprofit advocate for the 11,000 square-mile watershed of the Connecticut River since 1952.