ShareThis Page

River Sweep to tackle Kiski by kayak

| Thursday, June 13, 2013, 11:13 a.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Evelyn Andritz, owner of River's Edge Canoe and Kayak, canoes the Kiski River near Leechburg on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Neill Andritz, owner of River's Edge Canoe and Kayak, canoes the Kiski River near Leechburg on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
The Kiski River near Leechburg on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dis
On Tuesday, June 11, 2013, John Linkes, Roaring Run director; Dennis Hawley, president of the Crooked Creek Watershed; Betsy Mallison, the Pennsylvania River Sweep coordinator; and Evelyn and Neill Andritz, owners of River's Edge Canoe and Kayak in Gilpin, from left, formulate a plan for Riversweep on Friday, June 14, 2013, which will consist of volunteers gathering litter from the Kiski River between Vandergrift and Leechburg.

Volunteers will collect litter and debris along area riverbanks on Friday and Saturday for the annual River Sweep, which features a first-time cleanup along the Kiski River via kayak on Friday.

The local River Sweep is part of a six-state effort to remove litter and debris in the Ohio River watershed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.

Covering 2,400 miles of shoreline, it's the largest organized river cleanup in the country.

Volunteers are needed for a number of local cleanups on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon along the Kiski River, Cowanshannock Creek, Crooked Creek, Allegheny River and certain tributaries.

The cleanup by kayak will start between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. at the River's Edge Canoe and Kayak, 3158 River Road in Gilpin.

Owners Neill and Evelyn Andritz will provide the kayaks and life jackets for volunteers, who need only show up on Friday morning.

All river cleanups will be held on Saturday.

Volunteers don't need to register, but simply show up at one of the sites wearing sturdy boots and long pants.

“The No. 1 item we find is tires,” said John Linkes, environmental director of Roaring Run Watershed Association, which is in its 13th year of participating in the event.

River Sweep Coordinator Betsy Mallison said, “We have found enough parts for cars and household items over the last 22 years that we could build a whole car and a whole house.”

“This is a good opportunity to clean up the riverbanks,” said Dennis Hawley, president of Crooked Creek Watershed. “Year after year, we continue to find this stuff.”

Hawley and others said that if area counties and communities offered drop-off points for appliances, it might help cut down the illegal dumping of the larger household items.

River Sweep is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, Duquesne Light, Dominion Foundation, Koppers, Neville Chemical Co., Rex Energy, Talisman Energy, and Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.