Speak Up for Cleaner Rivers

Change Begins With You.

Together We Can Make a Big Difference!

All it takes is a series of small actions by lots of people to make a big impact on our rivers. Through personal power and responsibility, we can keep our rivers clean for all to enjoy.

Wondering how you can make a difference? Start with a few small steps:

  • Multiply your impact — Invite friends, family, and co-workers to join you in this effort.
  • Speak up for your rivers — Contact your elected representatives, show them the trash problem and let them know this is an issue that is important to you and deserves their attention and legislative action.
  • Use the power of your purchase — Tell businesses what products to make and sell; purchase only reusable items and refuse single-use plastic and foam.
  • Lead by example — Don’t litter and properly dispose of your waste — no wish-cycling!
  • Educate yourself —  Learn more about what CRC is doing to solve the trash problem and how you can be part of the solution.

Ways to Take Action

With so much to be done, getting started may feel overwhelming. CRC is here to help with both educational resources to learn more and concrete steps you can take throughout the year.

Sign up to receive CRC’s Action Alert emails to be notified whenever there is urgent action to take in your state.

Signup for CRC Action Alerts

Nips: Little Bottles, Big Problem

In our 2020 Source to Sea Cleanup, a total of 10,654 beverage containers were reported by cleanup groups throughout the four Connecticut River states. Nearly a quarter of those containers were miniature spirits bottles called nips! Updating state Bottle Bills will help keep this trash out of rivers.

As part of this year’s Source to Sea Cleanup, CRC is targeting MA and CT legislators to take action by updating their Bottle Bills. The campaign is focused on MA and CT because Cleanup data show more nips found there than in NH and VT.

If you find nips, we encourage you to snap a photo and share it to social media to help show the scope of the problem. Be sure to tag CRC and use #RiverWitness.

All registered groups in MA and CT will receive info in your welcome packet about the nips campaign. If you didn’t receive this information in your Source to Sea welcome packet and are interested in taking action, or if you need more postcards, contact cleanup@ctriver.org.

Attend a virtual Trash Talk

Want to learn more about trash laws in your state and how you can get involved locally to help stop the flow of trash?

Join us for a virtual “Trash Talk” — an informal chat about trash and our local waterways. Trash Talks are organized by theme so we can address watershed-wide issues, no matter what river state you live in.

2021 Trash Talks
October 20: Updating Bottle Bills for Cleaner Rivers
November 10: What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)?

Can’t make it on these dates? Recordings of each talk will be posted here within 48 hours of each presentation.

Hold Businesses Responsible

Businesses and corporations have spent decades profiting from and deflecting blame for litter onto the consumers. After decades of Source to Sea Cleanups, national Earth Days, and anti-littering campaigns, it’s time for big corporations to take responsibility for their role in trashing our rivers.

Items that are difficult to recycle or properly dispose of are one of the primary factors contributing to trash in rivers. Even people desperately trying to recycle properly are left with questions. It’s unfair and unrealistic to expect consumers to navigate the maze of plastic #1-7, the differences between single- and dual-stream recycling, and the ever-changing recycling market

So, how can you help?

  • Tell businesses and corporations that we expect better — This includes more reusable options, less single-use plastic and foam, and products made with sustainable and climate-friendly materials.
  • Money talks — Avoid buying single-use items and instead buy reusable.
  • Show and tell — Take pictures and share them as part of CRC’s #RiverWitness campaign on social media.

Be a #RiverWitness

In addition to capturing the beauty of nature in its purest form, we invite you to show the dirty truth of trash in rivers and the need for trash solutions.

The #RiverWitness campaign allows you to be a voice for our local rivers by sharing what you see on social media using the hashtag #RiverWitness. Your posts will be shared with the wider river community and select images will be used to call on decision-makers to enact trash solutions to keep trash out of our rivers.

Be a #riverwitness

Know Your Trash

Did you know that plastic foam breaks off docks and pollutes our rivers? Or that over 10 million waste tires are found across New England each year? Learn more about the most common types of trash that plague our waterways and the steps you can take to reduce their impact.

Expand Your Trash Knowledge
River Steward Kathy Urffer poses with a heap of tires cleaned out the river - no thanks!