The Ohio River Sweep is a one-day clean-up project for the Ohio River and its tributaries. The sweep covers nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline from Pittsburgh, to Cairo, Ill and averages more than 21,000 volunteers a year.
Since 1948, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and its member states have cooperated to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin so that the river and its tributaries can be used for drinking water, industrial supplies, recreational purposes, and can support a healthy and diverse aquatic community.
ORSANCO operates monitoring programs to check for pollutants and toxins that may interfere with specific uses of the river, and conducts special studies to address emerging water quality issues. One way that ORSANCO contributes is by having the Ohio River Sweep.
The New Martinsville Parks & Recreation Department has been participating in the river sweep for more than 20 years. This year's sweep was scheduled in June and was a huge success.
Trash collected during the Sweep has included cars, tires, furniture, toys, a piano, and a variety of other items. In New Martinsville tires, paper, cans, barrels, metal, furniture, toys and clothing have been found and removed.
All trash collected is either recycled or placed in approved landfills. Solid Waste Services has been kind enough to donate a dumpster for the River Sweep this year. The River Sweep is held to create an awareness of water quality problems caused by litter and illegal dumping, as well as build community involvement and provide volunteer opportunities.
The Ohio River Sweep takes place along both sides of the Ohio River and is open for anyone who wishes to volunteer. Participants under the age of 18 must have a signed waiver from their parent/guardian before participation. Each volunteer receives a t-shirt and garbage bags.
For more information or would like to participate in the sweep next year contact the NMP&R office at 304-455-9130 or visit www.orsanco.org/riversweep.