Keep our river clean

The Ohio River has been one of the area’s greatest natural resources.

The development of town’s along the river depended upon its use as a means of drinking water, wildlife and transportation.

An annual event set for Saturday morning will allow volunteers a chance to protect the river.

The 29th-annual Ohio River Sweep is set to begin at 9 a.m. at points throughout the region.

Ohio River Sweep 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, which organizes the event.

The overall quality of the Ohio River has greatly improved in the past several decades. There was a time when the river was more like a sewer. Heavy industry lined the banks on both sides. Communities dumped sewage into the river.

It took years, but the Ohio River has come back to the point where many people go to enjoy a day on the boat, go fishing from the bank or just enjoy its natural beauty and wildlife.

Increased use of the river has led to more trash and junk left behind. High water also leaves behind debris on the banks. But there is no reason to let that trash and debris linger.

Volunteering for the Ohio River Sweep on Saturday morning is a good family activity. It also can be a project for church youth groups or boys and girls participating in scouting.

We all have to play a part in keeping the river clean. Many communities rely upon its water for drinking supplies.

Volunteers will be given trash bags and gloves and afterward will receive a River Sweep T-shirt.

The cleanup along the banks of the river is a great way to take care of our section of the Ohio River.

Consider volunteering a couple of hours Saturday morning to be part of the thousands of people all along the length of the Ohio River who come out for this cause.