Volunteers needed for River Sweep

Looking for a way to help your community and the environment at the same time? Then Saturday’s annual Ohio River Sweep is just the opportunity.

Each year, the Ohio River Sweep brings together more than 20,000 volunteers all along the Ohio River, from its origin in Pittsburgh to its end at Cairo, Ill. The sweep involves the cleaning of the river and its banks of trash and debris, as well as the river’s many tributaries.

Volunteers are needed locally. In Wood County, volunteers will gather at the Williamstown Boat Ramp and Point Park in Parkersburg from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

In Washington County, volunteers are needed to work along the Muskingum River beginning on Ash Road on the west side of the river just below Devols Dam. Volunteers will work there from 9 a.m. until noon. Gloves and trash bags will be provided and volunteers who have canoes or kayaks can use them to retrieve trash and debris more accessible from the water.

Volunteers should keep safety in mind, dress appropriately for the task, and are encouraged to bring work gloves. Volunteers are asked to be alert to possible hazards, such as broken glass or nails, and should stay out of the water. The event could be rescheduled if the water level is too high. Onsite supervisors will be on hand.

This annual effort is key to keeping the Ohio River, one of our nation’s greatest natural resources, healthy. It’s one of the largest volunteer efforts of its kind and sure to be a positive experience for those involved. Thanks to all who help out Saturday.

To get more information: West Virginia, John Reed, (304) 424-1873; Ohio, Friends of the Lower Muskingum, 374-4170.