Speak Up

for Cleaner Rivers

Change begins with you. YOU are powerful!

Together we make a big difference. Join us!

Get Action Alerts
Take On Corporations
Swap Your Dock
Be a River Witness
Attend Trash Talks

Our Personal Power & Responsibility

Change begins with each and every one of us. Little actions by lots of people add up to make a big impact for our rivers.

MULTIPLY your impact by inviting your friends, family, and co-workers to join you in this effort.

SPEAK UP for your rivers by contacting your elected representatives who work for YOU. Tell them to pass legislation that will keep our rivers free from trash. Show them the trash problem by sharing your trash pictures with them.

TELL businesses what products to make and sell by the power of your purchase$. CHOOSE reusable and REFUSE single-use plastic and foam.

LEAD by setting a good example for your family and friends. Don’t litter, use reusable items, and properly dispose of your waste — no wish-cycling! Be the change you want to see!

LEARN more about the trash problem, what CRC is doing to help solve it, and how you can help.

Plastic Docks
Trash Tires
Single-Use Plastics

Tell Business To Do Their Part

Our trash problem is not the blame of litterbugs alone. Those businesses that created our single-use economy must also be held responsible for their role in our trash crisis. It may seem easier to address litterbugs and teach people how to properly recycle and dispose of waste. But after 24 years of Source to Sea Cleanups and 50 years of Earth Days and anti-littering campaigns, it’s time to admit this approach isn’t working. It’s time corporations take responsibility for their role in trashing our rivers. They play a big role in deciding what products end up in consumers’ hands.

This is not a free pass for litterbugs. We all need to do our part in keeping our rivers clean. But even if there was never another piece of trash thrown into our rivers or oceans we’d still have big problems. Did you know this trash burden was deliberately placed on us – the consumers?

Items that are difficult to recycle or properly dispose are one of the primary factors contributing to trash in rivers. Even those desperately trying to recycle properly are left with questions. Things like coated paperboard, plastic #1-7, and lids leave consumers confused about what is or isn’t recyclable. Add to this the differences between single- and dual-stream recycling, different rules between various recycling facilities, and the ever-changing recycling market. It’s unfair and unrealistic to expect consumers to navigate this maze. This burden on consumers has created an incentive for littering, dumping, improper recycling, and is causing the whole system to break down. 

Did you know this trash burden was deliberately placed on us – the consumers? In the 1950s, companies ran ads teaching consumers to dispose of single-use items (think paper cups & napkins, plastic bottles, etc.) rather than continuing to reuse items as they’d done for generationsThen, anti-littering campaigns blamed us for starting pollution and told us we could stop it. We’ve accepted convenience built on plastic that has generated a tremendous amount of profit…and trash. It is time to invest in real solutions that recognize petroleum-based plastics are a failure and a single-use economy is fundamentally flawed. 

It’s time for the corporations who created and have been profiting from this problem to now help solve the problem through a fundamental redesign of how our products are made and disposed of. We need to overhaul the system. It’s a big job, but we have done it before. Remember lead paint? Smog? Burning rivers? We can do it again. We must. For the sake of our rivers and the oceans sustained by them 

Your rivers need you. Your voice, your stories, your photos and videos will make a difference. Will you speak up for your rivers? 

TELL businesses and corporations that we expect better options – more reusable options, less single-use plastic and foam, and products made with sustainable and climate-friendly materials.
Tell them with your words and images — take pictures and share them as part of CRC’s #RiverWitness campaign on social media (details below).
AND tell them with how you spend your $$ — avoid buying single-use items and instead buy reusable. Money talks and corporations are sure to listen.

River Witness

Help show just how big of a problem trash is in our rivers!

#RiverWitness is a new campaign that brings us together in taking action and showing appreciation of our rivers, despite the need to be physically distant this year. It’s an opportunity for you to get creative and engage online by sharing your photos, videos, and stories of what you witness when you visit or connect with your rivers.

  • Take photos, videos, or make art of the trash you find.
  • Share photos online using#RiverWitness #TiredOfTires and #PurgeThePlastic.
  • Tag Connecticut River Conservancy
  • Your images will be added to a beautiful mosaic showing our community of river witnesses.
Be a river witness

Attend a virtual Trash Talk

Learn more about trash laws in your state and how you can join CRC to get involved locally and help stop the flow of trash. Join us for an informal chat about trash and our local waterways. We’re excited to bring our Trash Talks right to your home as part of our LiveStream series. This year we’re organizing our Trash Talks by theme, so we can address the issues watershed-wide, no matter what river state you live in.

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

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