Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Potomac River Watershed Cleanup This Saturday


Fletcher's Boathouse Cleanup. Photo by Johnny Bivera, OurVisualPlanet. 2009
For more than 20 years, volunteers have come out every year for the Alice Ferguson Foundation's Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. They (we) pull trash out of the Potomac River watershed -- from streams and rivers that feed the Potomac, and from "inland" areas whose trash might wash into those waterways.

Over the years, more than 50,000 volunteers have helped remove over 3 million tons of trash that would otherwise be sitting in the Potomac River or the Chesapeake Bay. Last year's organizers reported collecting 290 tons, including more than 27 tons of recyclables, 41,122 Plastic bags, 2,095 tires, 17 bicycles, 16 shopping carts, 9 Metal and plastic barrels, 5 TVs and 5 refrigerators.


Inside the Dumpster at Cloppers Mill West. Photo by Susan Hughes. 2008
It's a massive undertaking, and one that makes it that much more pleasant to explore the Potomac throughout the rest of the year. And, it can be really fun. It's a chance to be outside on a spring day, and making a measurable impact on the river we all love.

There are over 200 locations where you can volunteer on Saturday, in DC, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. To browse the sites by county, click here. Look for a site near you, help clean up your favorite park, or use it as an excuse to check out a spot you've never visited before. You'll be glad you did.