Clean-up project key to future of Ohio River

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2005

Each day, one of the most important of parts of Lawrence County can just slip right through your fingertips if you let it. That’s right, the Ohio River is the one thing that makes our tiny place on the earth uniquely Lawrence County.

The river binds us – literally and figuratively.

The Ohio River defines our border with adjoining states, but it also defines who we are as a Tri-State – through both distant and recent history.

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More than 200 years ago, the Ohio River was a chief "highway" for the early settlers of North America.

In more recent times, the river has continued to mark its place in history.

Talk to a few of our elder statesmen and see how they define timeframes in their lives. Often in the days before the locks, dams, floodwalls and other flood control devices, those milestones were notches by river occurrences.

The infamous flood of 1937 defined a generation and changed the landscape forever.

Today, we often drive over the Ohio River or alongside it without a thought about its importance in our history and potential for our future.

Years of carelessness damaged the Ohio River’s fragile ecology. In recent years, tighter environmental laws and an increased public outcry have cleaned up the river significantly.

Unfortunately, the river continues to be cluttered by debris and trash caused by careless citizens.

Saturday, you can help correct those problems by participating in River Sweep 2005.

The annual clean-up focuses on the Ohio, Allegheny, Monongahela, Beaver, Kanawha and Kentucky rivers.

More than 3,000 miles of shoreline in six states will be combed during the event.

Three locations in Lawrence County will be starting points for groups wishing to participate: The Symmes Creek boat ramp, the Ironton boat ramp and the South Point boat ramp. For three hours – from 9 a.m. to noon – volunteers will help pick up trash and debris from the river. In doing so, they are protecting the future of the river for generations to come.