Washington, DC — American Rivers, the nation’s leading voice for healthy rivers and clean water, today announced the kickoff of National River Cleanup™, now in its 20th year. The program, which mobilizes hundreds of thousands of volunteers to pick up trash from rivers nationwide, is poised for its most successful year to date.
Millions of tons of trash – from plastic bags to old tires to large appliances -- end up in our rivers and streams each year. Trash is more than just an eyesore -- it can pollute drinking water supplies, threaten fish and wildlife, and hurt recreation opportunities.
National River Cleanup™ provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to improve river health and give back to their communities. The 20th anniversary of National River Cleanup™ is generating record participation, thanks to a new online handbook, interactive map, and increased local outreach.
Volunteers can find their closest river cleanup and additional information at www.AmericanRivers.org/Cleanup. The online handbook provides people interested in organizing their own cleanups with comprehensive information on everything from how to scout a location, to how to increase day-of participation. Cleanup organizers will receive a kit with free trash bags, T-shirts, and snacks, while supplies last.
“For twenty years, National River Cleanup™ has given individuals the chance to bring rivers back to life,” said Andrew Fahlund, senior vice president for conservation at American Rivers. “Participating in a river cleanup gives people a great sense of accomplishment. It increases community awareness about the need for healthy rivers and clean water.”
The National River Cleanup™ program is sponsored by Boulder Canyon Natural Foods, Tom’s of Maine, Cox Enterprises, REI, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. These companies have made a long-term commitment to American Rivers’ work to protect and restore rivers across the country.
American Rivers has deemed 2011 The Year of the River because there has never been such national focus, support and momentum for healthy rivers. Whether it’s restoring rivers to their natural state or removing the trash that clogs them, American Rivers and our partners will achieve historic river restoration victories this year. In addition to celebrating the 20th anniversary of National River Cleanup, we will reach a major milestone when the thousandth dam is torn down, and when the nation’s biggest dam removal begins on Washington’s Elwha River.
By cleaning up and healing damaged rivers, American Rivers ensures that future generations will enjoy clean drinking water, abundant fish and wildlife, and opportunities to fish, paddle, and enjoy the great outdoors.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.