Greenfield, MA. August 19, 2009.
“A river cleanup involving thousands of volunteers across four states and hundreds of river miles would not be feasible without NRG Energy’s timely financial support,” says Chelsea Gwyther, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, “We were thrilled when NRG Middletown Power stepped up again as this year’s title sponsor.” Things are ramping-up for the Council’s 13th annual Source to Sea Cleanup, scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd. Last year the fall event drew over 3,000 volunteers who collected over 100 tons of trash, discarded tires, furniture, and appliances along the length of the Connecticut River and its tributaries.

This fall, as he has for the last seven seasons, NRG Environmental Engineer Bob Spooner of East Hampton, CT will again be working on those riverbanks along with a core group of volunteers from NRG. Since 2002, Spooner’s group has scoured the shorelines and shallows of Connecticut’s Dart Island State Park collecting the trash that’s floated downstream to island shores. Spooner says his group has removed everything from tires and a discarded TV to a derelict outboard motor from the mid-river preserve.

“We’ve participated in this great volunteer effort for many years,” says Plant Manager David DesRoberts of NRG Energy’s Middletown Station, “NRG is pleased to again be its title sponsor and work side-by-side with the Watershed Council and the huge wave of volunteers doing good work for our rivers.” Last year over 100 groups from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut turned out the 3,002 volunteers that cleared discarded debris from the shores of New England’s great river basin from Pittsburg, NH near the Canadian border to the river’s mouth at Old Saybrook on Long Island Sound.

“The people at NRG will help us get everyone the support and supplies they’ll need to get a big job done,” says Christine Luis-Schultz, Cleanup Coordinator, who notes that TransCanada, The MDC, and Lane Construction Corporation have also returned to help underwrite the Cleanup’s work, “Every year we seem to accomplish more, get more people interested in the environment—and make a dent in the flow of trash left on riverbanks. In recent years we’ve even seen the number of discarded tires begin to decrease.”

New and returning volunteers and potential sponsors are asked to register with CRWC by Friday, September 11th. “This is a terrific way to get involved in protecting your river,” says NRG’s Bob Spooner. For more information on the Cleanup in your area, visit www.ctriver.org or contact Christine Luis-Schultz at: (413) 772-2020, ext 201, email: cleanup@ctriver.org.

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Press information: Chelsea Gwyther, Executive Director CRWC: (413) 772-2020, X 202; cgwyther@ctriver.org; Christine Luis-Schultz, Coord., (413) 772-2020, X 201; cleanup@ctriver.org.

For NRG Energy, Inc., Lori Neuman, Communications Director: (609) 524-4525; lori.neuman@nrgenergy.com.

The 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.

NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), a Fortune 500 company, owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. NRG’s 48 plants provide approximately 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to power nearly 20 million homes. In Connecticut, NRG owns facilities in Cos Cob, Middletown, Uncasville and Norwalk that are capable of producing 1,800 MW of electricity.