Over the weekend, thousands of volunteers across NH, VT, MA and CT came together to get dirty for cleaner rivers as part of Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) 25th annual Source to Sea Cleanup. Volunteers removed trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails and more.
“Source to Sea Cleanup volunteers’ hard work and dedication is inspiring and makes a real difference for local rivers. We were heartened to see volunteers rallying to protect rivers from trash pollution,” said Stacey Lennard, CRC’s Cleanup Coordinator. “Everyone was happy to get outside to connect with nature while also making a big difference for their communities. And they shared their photos and stories online to connect with each other using #RiverWitness.” Groups included local river and conservation groups; elementary, high school, and college students; Girl and Boy Scouts; and many employee volunteer groups from local businesses.
GZA GeoEnvironmental hosted an employee volunteer group in Connecticut, in addition to sponsoring the event. They noted, “We had a lot of fun on a sunny day, a great team-building experience. It was good to be outdoors and do something that is a benefit to the river and the local neighborhood.”
Final trash totals are still being tallied. More than 110 registered groups collected trash from locations as far north as North Stratford, NH near the Canadian border all the way down to Essex, CT near the Long Island Sound. More statistics from the Source to Sea Cleanup will be shared once trash data are compiled and processed through the Clean Swell app developed by CRC partners at the Ocean Conservancy.
Eversource, USA Waste & Recycling, and All American Waste are the lead Source to Sea Cleanup sponsors and organize their own employee volunteer groups, too. “Our employees are dedicated to giving back to our communities throughout the year, and the Source to Sea Cleanup is always one of our favorite events because of the difference we’re able to make when we work together to protect the environment,” said Eversource Vice President for Sustainability and Environmental Affairs Catherine Finneran. “We’re proud of the dozens of Eversource employees who worked with their neighbors to clean up the Connecticut River this weekend, and we thank the Connecticut River Conservancy and all of our volunteer partners for their leadership and commitment to the environment.”
“We look forward to sponsoring and participating in the Source to Sea cleanup event every year,” says Frank M. Antonacci, COO of USA Waste & Recycling, “and we know first-hand that proper waste disposal is important to keep our rivers and communities clean.”
After cleaning up more than 1,200 tons of trash from the river over the last 25 years, it is clear that repeated cleaning is not the solution to our trash problem. CRC is working with partners across New England on laws and policies that will improve recycling, redesign our single-use economy to prevent waste, and extend producer responsibility to include the entire life cycle of products.
Join CRC for a series of virtual Trash Talks that connect the trash found on the ground with the work being done to keep it from getting there. Learn more about what was collected during this year’s Source to Sea Cleanup and talk about advocacy and legislative action that continues year-round. Trash Talk details and registration can be found at www.ctriver.org/events.
About the Connecticut River Conservancy
Since 1952, Connecticut River Conservancy has been the voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. They collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for your rivers and educate and engage communities. They bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of your river and its tributary streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies. To learn more about CRC, or to make a contribution to help protect your rivers, visit www.ctriver.org.