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Press release: for immediate release

Volunteers joining cleanup at record pace

Greenfield, MA. September 23, 2008. With less than two weeks left before the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s October 4th Source to Sea Cleanup, citizens are signing up for the basin-wide community event at a record pace, “We have already surpassed last year’s tally, and that had been our highest number of volunteers ever,” says Christine Luis-Schultz, Cleanup Coordinator, “At the rate folks have been volunteering I have no doubt our riverbanks are going to look a lot more beautiful beneath the foliage this fall.”

The Source to Sea Cleanup, taking place along the length and breadth of the 410-mile long Connecticut River Valley draws volunteers from four New England states–all the way from northern-most New Hampshire to Long Island Sound, “We’re amazed at the community spirit that infuses this event year after year,” says Chelsea Gwyther, the Watershed Council’s Executive Director, “From a few individuals to groups that have several hundred members, in one day they will literally clear tons of the trash and debris that’s scuttling the beauty and safety of our riverbanks.” A number of Cleanup teams are already registered with 100 or more volunteers, including groups in Cheshire Country, NH; Greenfield and Northfield, MA; and the Farmington River Valley in Connecticut, “Every volunteer makes a difference,” Gwyther notes.

The Cleanup, underwritten this year by NRG Middletown Power, hauled in over 50 tons of refuse with the help of 2,016 volunteers in 2007–everything from lawnmowers, to tires, to a port-a-potty. And there is still room for those who want to pitch in for the Saturday, October 4th event, “Get in touch and we’ll help find you a place in the Cleanup,” says Coordinator Christine Luis-Schultz, “We still have plenty of trash bags and work gloves available for new volunteers.” This year’s Cleanup sponsors also include Northeast Utilities Transmission, TransCanada NE Hydro, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) of Connecticut, and Lane Construction Corporation. Information for potential volunteers and sponsors, as well as a list of registered groups across the region, is available at: www.ctriver.org, or by emailing: cleanup@ctriver.org. For questions, call: (413) 772-2020, ext. 201, to reach the Cleanup Coordinator.

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

The Connecticut River Watershed Council has been a non-profit advocate for the 11,000 square-mile watershed of the Connecticut River emphasizing water quality since 1952.