FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Greenfield, MA September 7, 2011 – As residents of the Connecticut River valley pitch in to help each other recover from Tropical Storm Irene, NRG Energy’s Middletown Station will again sponsor the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s (CRWC) 15th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup on Saturday October 1st.

With NRG Energy’s support, CRWC will mobilize several thousand volunteers in four states to help communities still rebounding from massive flooding, from the Green Mountains of Vermont to Connecticut’s Long Island Sound.

“When so many people and places have been devastated, this is all about neighbors helping neighbors,” said Plant Manager Jeff Araujo of NRG Energy’s Middletown Station.  “Because of the storm, this year’s effort is more important than ever.  Our own employees will clean up nearby Dart Island in the Connecticut River, and we’re happy to also support volunteers all up and down the river in their own communities,” Araujo said.

Last October, several thousand CRWC volunteers hauled 50 tons of trash from the shorelines of the Connecticut River and its tributaries.  Just two weeks ago, widespread floods washed out roads and bridges and tumbled buildings into rivers that hadn’t run as high in more than 70 years.

“We face an unprecedented challenge this year,” said Jacqueline Talbot, Cleanup Coordinator and CRWC’s River Steward in Connecticut.  “In addition to the typical trash that always accumulates, many floodplains now are strewn with lots of refuse tangled up in massive piles of uprooted trees. We’re especially grateful to have the support of NRG and the other sponsors to help us meet this challenge.”

“We are calling on current Cleanup groups and new volunteers to register and let us know where they plan to work.  We want group leaders to go out soon to scout their sites to assess the volume and complexity of the problems and determine an appropriate scope to tackle.  If they want help assessing their sites, they should ask their local fire department or we’ll send someone out. We are also urging them to work with town highway departments and trash companies to help collect what they gather.  Above all, we want all our volunteers to be safe,” Talbot said.

“We are also calling on companies throughout the watershed to join us by providing sponsorship support, by donating heavy duty gloves and bags, or actually putting equipment in the field to transport the much greater volume of trash we know is out there,” she added.

Individuals and groups, as well as companies, may register with CRWC through its web site, www.ctriver.org, or by contacting Jacqueline Talbot by email at cleanup@ctriver.org, or by phone at 860-704-0057.  Volunteers are asked to register by September 19th. “This is a terrific way to get involved in protecting your river,” says NRG’s Araujo.

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

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About NRG Energy

NRG Energy, Inc. is a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company that owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company’s power plants provide more than 25,000 megawatts of generation capacity-enough to supply nearly 20 million homes. NRG’s retail businesses, Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Company, combined serve nearly 1.9 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers. With investments in solar, wind and nuclear power, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure, NRG is working to help America transition to a clean energy economy. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com.

About CRWC
Founded in 1952, the Connecticut River Watershed Council is a non-profit organization that protects the 11,000 square-mile watershed in the four states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Its accomplishments include restoring access to spawning areas for migratory fish, protecting over 8,000 acres, and mobilizing volunteers to conduct water quality testing and remove over 100 tons of trash from local waterways through the annual Source to Sea Cleanup.

CONTACT:
Jacqueline Talbot, Cleanup Coordinator and River Steward in CT: 860-704-0057 jtalbot@ctriver.org

Richard Ewald, CRWC Planning & Dev. Director 413-772-2020 ext 206 rewald@ctriver.org

www.ctriver.org