Sweeping the Hudson

The 7th annual Riversweep brings volunteers to the water to clean up.

Back in 1966, when the Hudson River was dying from pollution and neglect, a group of local fishermen got together to put an end to its destruction by forming the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association. The group evolved into Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate, which continues the fight to guard our waterways, defend clean drinking water, and find solutions.

On May 5, Riverkeeper and its sponsors are holding the seventh annual Riverkeeper Sweep, an annual day of service in which volunteers spread out across hundreds of miles of Hudson River (and tributary) shoreline to clean up what others have left behind. Since its inception in 2011, the Sweep has included nearly 500 projects, recruited 10,000 volunteers, and removed 191 tons of debris. Join in by visiting www.riverkeeper.org.

If you’re interested in another environmentally conscious event, The Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) will host “The Tipping Point: Advancing Climate Change Communication,” a panel discussion, at 7 p.m. on May 12 at Rockland Center for the Arts, 27 S Greenbush Rd., West Nyack. Call 845.358.0877 or visit their website at www.rocklandartcenter.org

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Here is a look at what was removed from five locations in the Hudson Valley* during the 2017 Riversweep.

Material Recovered

Cigarette butts 2154+
Other plastic/foam packaging 387
Foam pieces 307
Plastic beverage bottles 278
Single-use plastic bags 275
Plastic pieces 234
Cups & plates (foam) 98
Take-out containers 70
Cups & plates (plastic) 63
Forks, knives, spoons (plastic) 48
Take-out containers (plastic) 37
Food wrappers (candy, chips, etc.) 15


* 2017 cleanup locations: Irvington, Poughkeepsie’s Kaal Rock Park and Waryas Park, Kingston Point Beach, Cornwall’s Plum Point

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