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River Sweep set for June 20

The 2009 edition of the annual River Sweep, sponsored by the Ohio River Valley Water sanitation Commission,will be June 20.

River Sweep enlists the help of volunteers who fan out in a one-day, 3,000-mile odyssey and pick up debris and garbage from the shorelines of the Ohio, Allegheny, Monongahela Kanawha and Kentucky rivers.

“River Sweep is very important because for a few hours on one day volunteers can help make a difference in the appearance of this great natural resource,” project director Jeanne Ison said. “The sweep has grown so much in the past few years we’ve been able to expand the project to tributaries and feeder streams of the Ohio River.”

During the 2008 River Sweep, more than 21,000 volunteers from public organizations, civic groups, recreational clubs and the general public in six states bordering the river collected more than 20,000 tons of trash and other debris from the banks of the Ohio River.

In addition to ORSANCO, a number of other entities also sponsor the event, among them, The West Virginia Make It Shine Program, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, AK Steel, Rumpke, Ashland, Inc., CSX, West Virginia American Water, U.S. Steel, AEP River Transportation and Duke Energy.

“There are many entities that make River Sweep work. Governmental agencies, industries and private citizens in the Ohio River Valley play an important role in this great environmental event,” Ison said. “Not only do they provide financial support, they also provide volunteers and in-kind services. It’s a great example of everyone working together for a good cause.”

River Sweep is the largest event of its kind and encompasses six states, according to information from ORSANCO.

For more information or to volunteer, call 1-800- 359-3977.