River Sweep Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Volunteers from all over Lawrence County will join with communities up and down the Mighty Ohio to make trash disappear this weekend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Volunteers from all over Lawrence County will join with communities up and down the Mighty Ohio to make trash disappear this weekend.

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Volunteers will meet from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday for the 13th Ohio River Sweep – an annual trash and debris cleanup of the Ohio River and its tributaries organized by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO).

Lawrence County volunteers cover several miles of shoreline, said Diana Turley, program coordinator for Lawrence County Recycling and Litter Prevention.

Last year, about 140 volunteers in the county picked up more than three tons of trash, Ms. Turley said.

She said she hopes there are more volunteers this year.

"Because of the flooding, there will be a lot more garbage and debris," Ms. Turley said.

The cleanup crew usually finds a variety of debris from household garbage to appliances and vehicle parts, she said.

"I hope that none of the debris is intentionally dumped," Ms. Turley said. "I think high waters bring it into the river."

It is important for members of the community to join in the effort to keep local waterways clean, she said. This includes both the Ohio River Sweep and the Symmes Creek cleanup in the future.

Volunteers do not need to pre-register, Ms. Turley said.

They should come to either the Center Street Boat Ramp in Ironton or the Indian Guyan Boat Ramp in Bradrick at 8 a.m.

Organizers ask that volunteers bring gloves and wear old, comfortable clothing and shoes or boots. They will need to sign a waiver form before they begin. Trash bags are provided. BFI is donating dumpsters and waiving disposal fees.

The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization will be sending workers to other locations for the sweep in addition to the two main locations, Ms. Turley said.

Ms. Turley added that safety tips for volunteers participating in the sweep include:

– Watch where you walk to avoid sharp objects and poison ivy.

– Do not get into the water because the current is strong.

– Avoid high cliffs and areas overgrown with shrubs.

– Watch for traffic when working in pullover areas along the side of the road.

– Finally, never place yourself in a dangerous situation.

Volunteers in the county, and elsewhere along the river, will receive a certificate and a T-shirt designed by Jesika Griffin, a third-grader at Daniel-Wertz Elementary in Evansville, Ind. Refreshments will be provided.

Any business wishing to become a corporate sponsor can contact Jeanne Ison at ORSANCO, 5735 Kellogg Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45228 or by phone at 1-800-359-3977.

All the counties along the Ohio River will be participating as well as many bordering the Ohio River’s tributaries, according to a news release. The sweep covers more than 3,000 miles of shoreline from Pittsburgh, Pa. where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers merge to form the Ohio River to Cairo, Ind., where the it flows into the Mississippi River.

Through waste water treatment plants and activities like the sweep, the water quality of the Ohio River has improved significantly, according to a news release.

The Ohio River and its tributaries’ water quality is important because of the number of people and animals who have contact with it, according to ORSANCO. More than 25 million people live in the Ohio River Basin and for three million people it is a source of drinking water.

There is a wide variety of fauna who depend on these rivers, creeks and streams as well. Approximately 150 species of fish have been found in the Ohio River.

The rain date for the Rover Sweep will be June 30.