HCN News & Notes

27th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup Invites Community Action for Clean Water

GREENFIELD — What began as a group of volunteers organizing to remove trash from local rivers more than two decades ago has become a hugely popular annual event that brings communities together in support of clean water and healthy habitats throughout the Connecticut River watershed in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) 27th annual Source to Sea Cleanup is back on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23, with opportunities for individual groups to set their own specific cleanup days around this time. The objective is clear: safely collect as much trash as possible to reduce the impact of pollution across all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin, including the tributaries that feed the main river in those four states.

Volunteers are organized into groups, with group leaders coordinating details at different trash sites. Trash tallies are also gathered after each cleanup, contributing to CRC’s long-standing database, which is used to inform the nonprofit’s work in advocacy to reduce future pollution, support river restoration, and inform the public and policymakers of issues affecting the environment.

In last year’s cleanup, more than 1,300 volunteers reported hauling 37 tons of trash from riverbanks and waterways across the four watershed states. Volunteers removed everything from recyclable bottles and cans to fishing equipment, food packaging, tires, televisions, and refrigerators. More than 12,000 beverage containers were tallied in 2022 alone.

Registration is now open for both group leaders and volunteers to participate. Businesses and community groups are also encouraged to register, and entities able to support cleanup efforts through in-kind or monetary donations are appreciated. Click here to sign up as a volunteer or group leader.

For any questions about getting involved, email Stacey Lennard at cleanup@ctriver.org.