Volunteers Prepare for Ohio River Sweep

WHEELING — Volunteers are needed to help pick up trash along the Ohio River.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, also known as ORSANCO, has scheduled its 30th annual Ohio River Sweep for Saturday.

The event is a volunteer effort to clean up areas along the Ohio River, including sites in all Northern Panhandle counties and in Belmont and Jefferson counties in eastern Ohio.

Anyone can volunteer, according to Lisa Cochran, communications coordinator for ORSANCO.

“All ages can volunteer to pick up litter and debris that has washed down to the river,” she said.

She said there are over 100 locations where the sweeps will occur, with many not just in West Virginia and Ohio, but also in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Those interested in volunteering can turn out to the one most convenient for them.

Each location will be equipped with trash bags, gloves and t-shirts for volunteers.

Volunteers are needed to pick up the growing number of plastic items that are accumulating along the Ohio River, according to Cochran.

“Many of these items start in the streets and parking lots, and get washed down to the Ohio River after a storm,” she explained.

Last year, 20,000 trash bags were distributed, as well as 2,508 pairs of gloves, according to information provided by ORSANCO. In addition, about 320 tons of trash was collected over about 3,000 miles from the shores of the Ohio River and its tributaries.

Cochran suggests volunteers wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty, and that they wear closed toe shoes.

Those interested can turn out to volunteer Saturday at the following locations in West Virginia:

* Brooke County — The times for pick up at all locations is 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the historic wharf in Wellsburg, the 12th Street boat ramp, the 17th Street playground and the 5th Ward playground.

* Hancock County — Volunteers will be needed beginning at 9 a.m.103 Harrison St. in New Cumberland, Kennedy Marina and the city of Chester. Efforts start at 10 a.m. at Edgewater Park.

* Marshall County — There will be a trash pick-up effort at Riverfront Park in Moundsville from 8 a.m. to noon.

* Ohio County — Volunteers will be needed at Heritage Port beginning at 8:30 a.m.

* Tyler County — A pick-up effort starts at the Paden City boat dock at 9 a.m.

* Wetzel County — Volunteers will clean the old ferry landing area behind the Wetzel County Courthouse from 10 a.m. until noon.

* In Ohio, there will be local river sweep efforts in Belmont County at the Pike Island Lock and Dam from 8 a.m. until noon, and in Powhatan Point near the marina from 8 a.m. until noon. Volunteers also will be needed at the Steubenville Marina in Jefferson County starting at 7 a.m.

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