CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — The outcome of the first annual Save the River Trash Free River Cleanup filled a truck.
Save the River Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper held their first river cleanup on September 19 in French Bay in Clayton. The organization reported 45 participating volunteers including teams from local organizations and businesses. Volunteers on foot and by boat pulled trash from the shoreline and nearby bay.
The event was officiated by Clayton New York Mayor Norma Zimmer. Zimmer oversaw the event as a dockmaster, ensuring all participants followed COVID-19 guidelines.
Executive Director John Peach emphasized the importance of the event and why trash removal is essential along the river.
“We had a very successful start to our first annual Trash Free River cleanup,” stated Peach. “The volunteers and businesses all jumped in to haul over a truck load of plastic and trash from the River. Much of that trash would eventually break down into microplastics which are extremely harmful to the environment. Those extremely small particles of plastic can enter the bloodstream and gut of fish, birds, and humans and pose a serious threat to their health and the environment.”
Save the River was joined by dozens of organizations including TILT and the Antique Boat Museum as a fill load of trash from the St. Lawrence River was loaded into a dump truck.
The event was funded through a grant from the Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation. A second part of the cleanup effort will be held on Friday and staged at the Clayton Town Dock.
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