Vermont Press Releases

Watershed council issues “SOS” for Connecticut River clean up post-Irene

CRWC Issues SOS for Big River Cleanup

Saxtons River, VT and Hanover, NH September 16, 2011 – Has your community been flooded by Tropical Storm Irene? If so, the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) wants to help you and your friends remove trash from the shorelines during its 15th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup on Saturday October 1st.

For the past 14 years, the Watershed Council has organized thousands of volunteers who have removed more than 650 tons of refuse from along waterways in four states during one of the biggest single-day river cleanups in New England.

“We need people to step up right now,” said Jacqueline Talbot, CRWC Cleanup Coordinator. “Unprecedented floods tore out bridges and roads and destroyed homes, and many shorelines and floodplains are still strewn with debris. Communities have been working hard to pull themselves back together, but much remains to be done.”

“We want to mobilize as many volunteers and groups as possible to make our rivers safe for people and wildlife again,” Talbot continued. “It’s not just about litter this year. The long-term health of our rivers is at stake.”

To register or find an existing group in your area, individuals and groups should contact Jacqueline Talbot at [email protected] or 860-704-0057.

Talbot urged groups and individuals to register by Monday September 19th so that CRWC may supply them with bags and gloves, and also paper masks if previously mud-covered areas are dusty. The CRWC is also looking for additional sources of heavy duty bags and gloves to help volunteers handle larger items this year.

“Above all, we want people to be safe,” Talbot said. “In some places, unstable piles of trees and debris are all tangled up together. If group leaders have questions about safety, they should consult their local fire department or highway department and only tackle areas that are not dangerous.”

“If you can’t actually get out and lend a hand in the field, you can help us meet the greater challenge this year with a cash donation that will go directly to the Cleanup effort,” Talbot said. Interested donors may go to and donate to CRWC to help cover the costs of this year’s massive Cleanup.

Founded in 1952 and based in Greenfield, MA, the CRWC advocates for clean water and fisheries protection in the 11,000 square miles of Connecticut River watershed in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The Cleanup is supported by major sponsorship by NRG Energy’s Middletown Station, TransCanada, Lane Construction, the Metropolitan District Commission, and Covanta.

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  • Hope that lots of folks turn out for this year’s Source To Sea! We had over 50 people come to RiverSweep to help with flood recovery this year, and another 15 or so arrived to clear trash and debris from the riverbanks up in the headwaters of the Black River. I’ll be sending you a trash tally and a volunteer count in the next week or two! Thanks for all your support.

    Kelly Stettner, Director
    Black River Action Team
    Springfield, VT