DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – In an effort to help clean up the Hudson River, Riverkeeper will host its first annual Riverkeeper Sweep to combat an increased amount of debris found in the river.
“[Scenic Hudson] discontinued it and this year after all these extra storms that have happened last year there was a lot more debris that has built up and washed up, Riverkeeper decided to pick up the sweep,” said Celine Daly, who is a volunteer ambassador for the organization.
Scenic Hudson ran the volunteer cleanup effort from 1998-2007 and Riverkeeper decided to sponsor the event for the first time this year. The sweep will be June 2 at more than 30 locations culminating with a celebration in Ossining at Louis Engel Waterfront Park. The town will host a celebration from 3-7 p.m. featuring food, live music and speeches from Riverkeeper Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and President and Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay.
“It’s been an inspiration to see so many volunteers step up to organize cleanups in their communities,” Gallay said in a statement. “We hope to continue working with these volunteers, not only to keep the Hudson River beautiful, but also to make it safe for swimming, fishing and drinking.”
The one-day event will focus on volunteers doing their part to help collect trash and other debris that has washed on shore. Daly said there will be two cleanup spots in Dobbs Ferry and one in Hastings out of the more than 30 locations. To find a cleanup location near you and for more information visit the Riverkeeper website.
“They’re billing it as a way of giving back to the river,” Daly said. “It’s a day of service for the river. It’s basically a loose coalition of volunteer-led cleanups.”
After Earth Day and the Great Saw Mill River Cleanup cleaned up the local waterfronts recently, Daly said this event aims to continue where those left off.
“With the rain we had [Earth Day] was very short,” she said. “We realized there was more to do that day. It was kind of just finishing up what we started on Earth Day.”
With the amount of rain and flooding last year, Daly said the cleanup is as important as ever.
“A lot more washed up because of the extra water and the wind, but debris washes up all the time anyways so Scenic Hudson was doing it every year,” she said. “We've seen some of the before pictures of what’s out there and there’s a huge amount of debris and tires and pieces of metal and all sorts of stuff has washed up.”