The annual Source to Sea Cleanup is a watershed-wide initiative organized by Connecticut River Conservancy in NH, VT, MA, and CT to remove as much trash as possible from the Connecticut River and tributaries. 2023 was the 27th year in a row that the massive cleanup effort has taken place and once again there was an incredible turnout by over 100 different groups consisting of communities, families, businesses, nonprofits, schools, and diverse volunteers united in their commitment to cleaner, healthier rivers.
While the majority of events happened on September 23rd-24th, some groups had to postpone due to rain and others preferred to schedule for October for other conveniences, which means the overall cleanup effort is not yet complete! And it will be some time before Connecticut River Conservancy receives everyone’s photos and the results of all the trash tallies – including details of exactly how much trash was collected, what kind of items were common this year, and everyone’s favorite category: most unusual items found.
We will provide a much more detailed summary of activities in this year’s Cleanup Chronicle (here is last year’s for reference) later this fall, but in the meantime we’re sharing some of the highlights and photos recent events. If you have participated this year and have any questions or would like to send us your photos, please contact us at email@example.com.
Here is the 2023 summary so far!
Several legislators joined cleanups in Massachusetts, including Senator Jo Comerford, Lindsay Sabadosa (State Representative, 1st Hampshire District), Natalie M. Blais (State Representative, 1st Franklin District), and Mindy Domb (State Representative, 3rd Hampshire District). We greatly appreciate the involvement of local leaders who not only support legislation that helps keep our rivers clean, but who roll up their own sleeves to get involved!
The Franklin County Rivers Cleanup/Green River Cleanup (consisting of 35 separate events) celebrated their 20th year of being part of the Source to Sea Cleanup, with awards given to David Boles, Michael Pattavina, and Charlie Olchowski to recognize their incredible dedication and hard work through the years.
The River Roads Festival cleanup group with Laudable Productions, music artists, volunteers, and Council Member At-Large Owen Zaret had the most impeccable organization system for trash tallies we’ve ever seen! They collected over 1,000 cigarette butts and several hundred nip bottles in just 2 hours.
Holyoke Public Schools and the Academy of Charlemont had amazing participation from students, and an independent youth-led group in Easthampton organized by 17-year-old Willa also had young people involved in river cleanups.
Eversource Energy, in addition to being a lead sponsor of the overall cleanup, had 3 separate staff volunteer groups in CT, MA, and NH. They were fiercely dedicated to making a big impact and collected an incredible amount of trash.
The Deerfield River Watershed Trout Unlimited group found a hot tub! Among many other items removed from the Deerfield River.
The Great Meadows Conservation Trust (along with the Wethersfield Dads Club) had a wonderful community turnout in Wethersfield Cove.
The Umass Five College Credit Union had a great cleanup and found a message in a bottle! We recommend more sustainable activities for kids and methods of communication, but we’re glad this sweet message was received and appreciated.
And of course SO many other fantastic volunteers have been involved, having spent a precious weekend day (rain or shine) bringing a positive can-do attitude to address a serious problem.
Special thanks to our incredible sponsors for supporting this year’s cleanup – we couldn’t do it without you!
Stay tuned for the 2023 Cleanup Chronicle to include many more photos, stories, and trash stats.