Ohio River still needs little TLC

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 12, 2006

Despite state loyalties, individual communities or municipal ties, the entire Tri-State is tied together by one rolling thread — the Ohio River.

The river has always been the region’s lifeblood, providing transportation, economic opportunities and recreation. Without the Ohio River, our region would not even come close to what it is done.

However, instead of being treated as a valued old friend who is important to our lives, the mighty Ohio has been treated like an enemy or simply an afterthought.

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Pop cans, food bags and other garbage litters its shores. Far worse items such as tires, gas tanks and other debris washes up with every passing rain.

Though the river’s condition and its shores have improved greatly in recent years, much work remains — and each and every member of the entire Tri-State can do his or her part next weekend.

The annual River Sweep event is set to clean up the banks of the Ohio its entire length though six states — but the event will not do anything without volunteer support.

The work program is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the boat ramps at Ironton and Indian Guyan near Chesapeake.

Ironton has been a part of the program for more than 17 years, but usually only a handful of people participate. It is likely the same in Chesapeake.

Over the years, more than 80 million tons of trash and debris have been removed from the Ohio River, but this garbage does not remove itself.

Sacrificing a few hours on a Saturday could make a lasting impact on the community, the environment and the future.

We hope to see every civic group, church club, youth group, business and citizen represented at the event.

The Ohio River is important to each of us as it provides a base for the economy, transportation and other valuable resources we all need.

Now would be perfect time for the entire Tri-State to come together and show our love and pride in this bond that links each of us together.