Join in area effort during River Sweep

The annual River Sweep is set for this morning at Hancock County locations along the Ohio River, including Chester City Park, Kennedy Marina & Campground, Edgewater Park and Swanee Landing.

River Sweep is a riverbank cleanup that extends the entire length of the Ohio River and beyond, according to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, which has organized the event for more than two decades. More than 3,000 miles of shoreline from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill., will be combed for trash and debris. It is the largest environmental event of its kind and encompasses six states.

ORSANCO reported more than 20,000 volunteers, nationally, took part a year ago, gathering more than 20,000 tons of trash and debris.

Some of the debris is intentionally left by people who don’t care about damaging our natural resources.

The Ohio River has come a long way from the days when steel mills filled both banks. The pollution left by those mills endangered the river’s quality for decades. The Ohio River now is a major source of pleasure fishing, boating and biking and walking along trails that follow the river downstream.

Volunteers pick up litter along highways numerous times a year but the Ohio River only gets one organized cleanup a year.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Swanee Landing site in New Cumberland, off South River Avenue. Call Bill and Phyllis Swan (304-374-1894) to volunteer in Hancock County. Those wanting to volunteer in Chester, call Mike Dotson at 304-670-9296.

River Sweep only takes a couple hours of volunteering to help beautify our section of the Ohio River. We hope you will join the thousands of others who will collect trash in their area of the river.

Take a couple hours this morning to volunteer for this cause.