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River Sweep to tackle Kiski by kayak

About Mary Ann Thomas

Where to volunteer

All river sweeps are from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday.

Volunteers need not register and can just show up in the morning at one of the following sweep locations:

• River's Edge Canoe and Kayak, 3158 River Road, Gilpin (just outside of Leechburg)

• Cowanshannock Creek Boat Launch: McMillen Road, Kittanning. From S. Water Street, turn right onto Market Street, continue on Clearfield Pike, bear left on Oak Avenue, continue on Johnson Avenue for 2.7 miles, then turn right on McMillen Road.

• Crooked Creek site at Rosston Boat Launch: Manor Township, take Route 66 to Ford City, turn onto Fifth Avenue (Route 128) and drive 1.8 miles. Bear left on Ross Avenue for 0.8-mile, turn right on Ross Center for 0.1-mile. Boat launch is on the right.

• Natrona, Harrison: From Route 28, take exit 15, Natrona Heights, turn right onto Burtner Road, then turn right at first stop sign on Spring Hill Road. At second stop sign, go straight to the traffic light and drive straight across and go down Spring Hill Road.

Go through another stop sign, at second stop sign, go across railroad tracks to River Avenue.

Go around the bend to the next stop sign and turn left onto Veterans' Way, at Len's Auto Body.

• Braeburn section of Lower Burrell, 101 Braeburn Road near the Lock No. 4 dam and Alloy Street.

For more information on River Sweep, visit:

By Mary Ann Thomas

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

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



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