Volunteeers sought for River Sweep

STEUBENVILLE – Volunteers are needed for Saturday’s annual River Sweep scheduled for the Steubenville Marina and Newburg Landing in Toronto.

River Sweep is a riverbank cleanup that extends the entire length of the Ohio River and beyond. More than 3,000 miles of shoreline will be combed for trash and debris. This is the largest environmental event of its kind and encompasses six states and more than 3,000 miles of shoreline from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill., according to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission.

The River Sweep is sponsored by ORSANCO and other state and local environmental agencies from Pennsylvania to Illinois. ORSANCO is the water pollution control agency for the Ohio River and its tributaries.

“We are so proud of the progress we have made cleaning up the Ohio River and some of its major tributaries, but there is still work to be done,” said Jeanne Ison, ORSANCO project director. “The Ohio is such a great natural resource and provides so much to so many. We need your help.”

Locally, the JB Green Team will host cleanups at the Steubenville Marina and Newburg Landing in Toronto. Louise Holliday, JB Green Team education coordinator, said registration will begin at 9 a.m., with cleanup activities starting at 9:30 a.m. Each volunteer will receive a free T-shirt and certificate of participation. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Patti West is the site supervisor at the Steubenville Marina. Joy Daugherty is the site supervisor at Newburg Landing in Toronto.

Employees at ArcelorMittal and the Steubenville Wal-Mart store will volunteer, as well as children with Girl Scout Troop 3196, Toronto, and the Lucky Leaf Livestock 4-H .

“Improved water quality has increased recreational use of the Ohio River and its tributaries,” Holliday said. “With increased recreation comes more litter on the river banks, making a yearly cleanup vital to our community. The River Sweep also increases public awareness of water quality and promotes good stewardship of the Ohio river and its tributaries. This is an excellent opportunity for citizens to play an active role in improving the environment and anyone who wants to make a difference in the water quality of the Ohio River can volunteer for the annual River Sweep.”

Last year, 34 volunteers participated locally in the River Sweep at the Steubenville and Mingo Junction marinas. Holliday said about 140 bags of debris, including roofing materials, rope and large pieces of Fiberglass, were collected from the banks of the Ohio River.

Contact Holliday at the JB Green Team office at (740) 266-6899 or e-mail at lholliday@jbgreenteam.org for information or to register.