Sweep needs more ‘brooms’

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last week’s River Sweep event helped clean up the Ohio River and its tributaries, with more than 120 bags of garbage hauled away locally.

Now imagine how much of an environmental and beautification impact this could have if our communities did this more than once a year.

The River Sweep started 20 years ago as a pilot project to clean the eastern and southern shorelines of the Ohio River. The event has grown greatly from that year’s 1,000 volunteers to 21,000 volunteers in a six-state effort in 2008.

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The sweep now covers more than 3,000 miles of shoreline.

This is a tremendous project from which we don’t want to take anything away. But, we would like to see area civic organizations, church groups and concerned citizens take this as a challenge that this is a much-needed project that shouldn’t only get attention for one Saturday morning.

In Lawrence County, the key cleanup points were the Ironton Boat Ramp, South Point Boat Ramp, Symmes Creek Boat Ramp at Chesapeake and Lock 27 at Proctorville.

Because this spans the entire county, it would be reasonable to think that groups or organizations from each of these communities could adopt an area and make a commitment to cleaning it up once a month or once every two months.

Hopefully, this would create a sense of ownership within each community and lead to people working together to protect and revitalize these river access points but also the entire Ohio River as it connects to Lawrence County.

The River Sweep is a great project but one that needs a few extra “brooms.”