We all see the tires, plastic bottles, and other assorted trashs in our rivers and along our river banks. While collecting trash out of a river may not sound like the most fun way to spend a few hours, hundreds of Vermonters find it rewarding to annually participate in river cleanups to maintain the beauty our state is known for. This September, join the fun by volunteering to clean up your local river as part of Vermont’s official River Cleanup Month. It’s time to get dirty to make our rivers clean!
Local watershed groups and other volunteers in Vermont organize river cleanups to remove trash that has accumulated throughout the year in our waterways. While trash in and surrounding rivers is an eyesore, it also negatively impacts wildlife and adds pollutants to our waters. Lyn Munno, Director of Watersheds United Vermont, a state-wide network of watershed groups promoting VT River Cleanup Month, stresses the importance of volunteers in making river cleanups a success. “River cleanup volunteers are critical in removing shopping carts, plastic bottles and tires from our waters. Many Vermonters are concerned about clean water, and river cleanups are a great way for citizens to get involved and make a visible difference in the health of their local river.”
Every year during Vermont River Cleanup Month volunteers pull out hundreds of pounds of trash from Vermont’s river banks and waterways. To join a river cleanup this September, visit www.watershedsunitedvt.org/vtrivercleanup and learn more about cleanups in your area. River cleanup activities vary depending on the location and accessibility of the river, ranging from picking up trash at popular swimming areas to using canoes and boats to remove larger items of trash from the river. Please contact the cleanup organizer to learn additional details. Note that some cleanups may not yet be registered, so keep checking the website as more will be added. If there is no cleanup in your area, you can organize your own cleanup with a group of community members, friends or coworkers. Watersheds United Vermont’s river cleanup website has a wide range of resources to help you organize your own cleanup including links to our partner organizations, Connecticut River Conservancy’s Source to Sea cleanup (September 28th and 29th) and American Rivers.
Christian Pelletier, an intern for the White River Partnership and Thetford resident says, “This summer the White River Partnership has implemented a stewardship program to help collect trash across the watershed; the September River Cleanup Month is a great way to build on what we are doing and end the year on a high note! We can’t wait to add on to the tally of trash that we have removed from the White River!”
Join the fun and help out your community, check out www.watershedsunitedvt.org/vtrivercleanup today to volunteer at a river cleanup. And, tag any River Cleanup Month social media photos or posts with #vtrivercleanup to appear on our statewide feed.