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Ohio River Sweep a success

Event drew about 50 volunteers in Lawrence County

The Ohio River Sweep took place this past Saturday, and volunteers helped clean up the riverbanks throughout Lawrence County.

“We had about 50 volunteers between the four locations,” Stephanie Helms, of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District and organizer of the event, said. “And we collected about one bag per person. There’s getting to be less and less trash to pick up each year, which is a good thing. I think that has to do with awareness of this event and that people are taking more pride in the riverbanks when they’re out doing activities at the river.”

The four locations in Lawrence County included the Ironton boat ramp, Coal Grove boat ramp, South Point boat ramp and the Symmes Creek boat ramp in Chesapeake.

The event encompasses more than 3,000 miles of shoreline from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cairo, Indiana, and has been conducted for the past 28 years by ORSANCO, of Cincinnati, which provides bags, gloves and T-shirts for all of the event’s volunteers in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Helms said the solid waste district hosts the event locally, and that she has been a part of it for the past 13 years. Each area of each state affected by the event has different entities or beautification groups that lead the event.

“7 Up in South Point donated water for the event, Foodfair in South Point donated donuts, Coca-Cola in Portsmouth donated Coke products and Walmart in South Point gave us a monetary donation,” Helms said. “I want to thank all of our sponsors and we appreciate everyone who came out and volunteered.”

In addition to the event on Saturday, Helms also said that around 46 volunteers from the Upward Bound program at Shawnee State University helped clean up the Court Street landing in Portsmouth on Friday.