Share This Page

500 River Sweep volunteers clean up region's waterways

| Saturday, June 15, 2013, 1:42 p.m.
boots, found at the South Side Riverfront Park on Saturday June 15, 2013 as part of the 23rd Annual River Sweep conducted in the Ohio River watershed.

Hundreds of volunteers scoured the banks of the Ohio River and its tributaries on Saturday and pulled more than 40 tons of trash as part of the annual River Sweep event.

“It was amazing the stuff we found,” said Ed Kramer, 55, of Cecil, who volunteered to pick up trash along the shore line in Sewickley. His crew of eight volunteers, affiliated with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, collected 700 pounds of trash in about three hours. “We found tires, PennDOT construction barrels, coolers, balls, even fire extinguishers.”

The event, in its 23rd year, took place in seven counties in Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland. Nearly 600 volunteers participated at 24 sites, said Betsy Mallison, Pennsylvania River Sweep Coordinator.

“We had a lot of fathers who came out with their kids on Father's Day weekend,” she said. “It was a very family friendly event.”Mallison said the strangest item found by volunteers was a pair of cement-filled boots. They found a rusty toolchest, a mattress, a sled and an X-box game console.

The event was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and several corporate sponsors.

The River Sweep is the largest organized volunteer river cleanup effort in the country, Mallison said. The event takes place in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Illinois, covering more than 2,400 miles of shoreline.

“It's a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun,” Kramer said.

Luis Fábregas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7998 or lfabregas@triweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.