GREENFIELD, MA, AUGUST 12, 2009. The Connecticut River Watershed Council is seeking volunteers for its 13th Source to Sea Cleanup to be held on Saturday, October 3, 2009. In twelve years, CRWC’s volunteer fall effort has removed hundreds of tons of trash, tires, and derelict appliances from the riverbanks of the 410-mile Connecticut and its tributaries. “This is one day where people can pool their energies and accomplish an amazing amount of work for our rivers,” says CRWC Executive Director Chelsea Gwyther, “The Source to Sea Cleanup links people with their local waterways, their communities, and with folks sharing a river connection across four New England states.”

Last year over 3,000 volunteers turned out for the Cleanup, hauling out over 100 tons of illegally dumped materials. CRWC Cleanup Coordinator Christine Luis-Schultz has hopes of surpassing those numbers, “We’d love to have everyone volunteer. It’s dirty work, but it’s fun and everyone goes home a winner.” For the second year, NRG Middletown Power Inc. of has assumed lead sponsorship of the event. “We’re really grateful for their continued support,” the Coordinator says. TransCanada, MDC and Lane Construction Corporation have also returned as event sponsors.

A new artistic component has been added for 2009 Cleanup participants.

“We’ve been working with River of Words, another not-for-profit,” says Luis-Schultz, “One of their goals is connecting kids to their watersheds through poetry and art.” The two groups have joined forces to offer the Source to Sea Cleanup Photo Contest, “Anyone can enter a Cleanup photo and be eligible for prizes-but we’re making a special push to encourage young people to also submit pictures to the National River of Words contest.”

Volunteer registration information for the Cleanup, as well as links to the photo contest and information on River of Words are available at: www.ctriver.org. “We’re looking for civic groups, scouts, and individuals from all walks of life to pitch in and make our rivers and communities better places for everyone,” says Luis-Schultz, “Sponsorship opportunities to help underwrite the event are always available.” Volunteers are asked to register by Friday, September 11th. Questions can be emailed to:
cleanup@ctriver.org, or you may phone: (413) 772-2020, ext. 201 with inquiries.

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Press information contact: Chelsea Gwyther, Executive Director, CRWC: (413) 772-2020, X 202; cgwyther@ctriver.org; Christine Luis-Schultz, Cleanup Coordinator: (413) 772-2020, X 201; cluis-schultz@ctriver.org.

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