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River Sweep Set

By Staff | Jun 15, 2011

This Saturday marks the 20th year the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Department has participated in the Ohio River Sweep.

A one-day clean up project for the Ohio River and its tributaries, the sweep covers nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Cairo, Ill., and averages more that 22,000 volunteers a year.

To join the effort arrive at the boat ramp by the Wetzel County Courthouse between 10 a.m. and noon. 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 contact the NM parks office at 304-455-9130.

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.

Since 1948, ORSANCO (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.