Greenfield, MA – The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s (CRWC) 19th annual Source to Sea Cleanup on Friday & Saturday, September 25 & 26 will focus on cleaning up trash tires along our rivers. The Source to Sea Cleanup is a two-day event coordinated by CRWC in all four states of the 410+ mile Connecticut River basin (NH, VT, MA, CT). Each fall, thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities head out to clean the Connecticut River and its tributaries on foot or by boat. Volunteers remove trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails and more. For more information or to register for the event, visit www.ctriver.org/cleanup.

“A massive tire dump along the Deerfield River in Greenfield, MA is just one example of how tires are a major problem for the health and cleanliness of our rivers,” says Alicea Charamut, CRWC River Steward and Cleanup organizer. “Unfortunately, tire dumps like this one are not unusual. And individual tires discarded in rivers and streams throughout the watershed of the four river states are just as much of an issue.” Just last year, Source to Sea Cleanup volunteers reported collecting at least 745 tires. CRWC began obtaining permits to clean up the Greenfield tire dump in 2014 and is continuing efforts this year.

“Our goal is to keep trash and tires from getting in our rivers in the first place and to eventually put ourselves out of the business of cleaning up our rivers” notes Charamut. “In addition to coordinating volunteers to clean up trash, CRWC also collects data from cleanup groups about the amount and types of trash they find. This data supports year-round advocacy efforts and informs policies and legislation that will keep waste out of our rivers.”

CRWC is working with river states on establishing extended producer responsibility (EPR) systems that hold producers responsible for free and easy disposal by consumers of items like tires, paint cans and appliances. In Vermont, CRWC helped create and pass legislation forming the Scrap Tire Management Stakeholder Group, tasked with addressing “legacy” scrap tire piles and reducing persistent improper scrap tire disposal. CRWC will remain involved with the Group, which will make recommendations for legislative efforts in the coming year.

“We all have a responsibility to solve this problem—individuals, manufacturers, businesses, and government,” says Andrew Fisk, CRWC Executive Director. “By working together, we can make a real difference for our rivers.” If you know of a tire dump or other trash site, you are encouraged to report it to CRWC via their Source to Sea Cleanup website or contact CRWC’s Cleanup Coordinator Alicea Charamut at cleanup@ctriver.org or 860-704-0057.

Lead Source to Sea Cleanup sponsors— NRG’s Middletown Generating Station, Pratt & Whitney, and TransCanada— are pleased to support CRWC’s efforts. “TransCanada believes in partnering with organizations that help build stronger communities,” says Jasmin Bertovic, Vice President of the Eastern Commercial Region of TransCanada. Stephen Cobbe, manager of NRG’s Middletown Station, said “We’re pleased to sponsor this event annually, and our people look forward to volunteering. We live as well as work here, and the environment is important to us.” “Pratt & Whitney is proud to support environmental initiatives in the areas where our employees work and live,” said Pratt & Whitney Environment, Health & Safety Vice President Mary Anne Cannon. “Partnering with Source to Sea Cleanup is another example of our company’s long-standing commitment to helping preserve the environment through sustainable products, operations and initiatives.”

The Connecticut River Watershed Council works to protect the watershed from source to sea. As stewards of this heritage, we celebrate our four-state treasure and collaborate, educate, organize, restore and intervene to preserve its health for generations to come. Our work informs our vision of economic and ecological abundance. To learn more about CRWC, or to join the effort and help protect our rivers, visit www.ctriver.org.

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