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Press Release: for immediate release

Source to Sea Cleanup sponsor: a history of river volunteers

Greenfield, MA. September 3, 2008.  For the past six years Bob Spooner has led a group of gloved and booted volunteers along the fall shores and shallows of Dart Island State Park in Middletown, Connecticut.  Working on foot and from boats they’ve helped clear the island of its annual collection of debris as part of the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s Source to Sea Cleanup.  Spooner’s core group is made up of volunteers from his workplace, NRG Middletown Power LLC, of Middletown, CT.  In over half a decade the volunteers removed tons of trash, debris and tires from the wild shores of Dart Island, a mid-river preserve on the Connecticut River accessible only by boat.  It’s one of Bob Spooner’s favorite places. “We’ve hauled in everything from an outboard motor engine and waste motor oil to fold-up chairs to half a canoe and a television,” says Spooner, an environmental engineer from East Hampton.

This year NRG Energy assumed title sponsorship of the Cleanup, which takes place along riverbanks throughout the four-state Connecticut River Watershed on Saturday, October 4th. “We’re proud to be the title corporate sponsor of this year’s Source to Sea Cleanup,” says David Carpenter, Plant Manager at NRG Energy’s Middletown Station. “We’ve participated in the Cleanup for many years, and look forward to again working with the Watershed Council and the many volunteers in the community to help remove waste and debris from the river.”

In 2007, 65 groups and over 2,000 individuals—including Spooner’s volunteers, removed 50 tons of debris, tires and appliances from the region’s riverbanks. “With volunteers like Bob Spooner, maybe the day will come when our rivers won’t need a cleanup,” says Chelsea Gwyther, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Watershed Council.  Meanwhile, the Cleanup still has plenty of room for volunteers and sponsors. “We’re really appreciative of NRG’s commitment,” Gwyther says. “Their generosity will help us reach new volunteers in the four-state effort.”

New and returning volunteers and potential sponsors are asked to register with CRWC by Monday, September 15th.  “It’s a great way to give back to the community,” Bob Spooner says, “We want this river to remain a New England treasure for generations to come.”  To volunteer, sponsor, or get 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; cluis-schultz@ctriver.org.