Thursday, June 5, 2003

River needs yearly sweep

Helpers sought for June 21 cleanup

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MOSCOW - Frisbees. Bicycle inner tubes. Pieces of china plates. A compact refrigerator. A small replica of a Beatle - the band, not the insect.All are snippets of past lives recovered from the Ohio River during more than nine years of an annual cleanup event in the village of Moscow.

"We have no idea how these things get there. We just figure they've come from various campsites in the area," said Tracey Suter, Moscow coordinator of the annual Ohio River Sweep.

Clermont County volunteers are needed once again this year to help with the June 21 Ohio River Sweep. The project started in 1989 as an effort to clear the river and its banks of environmentally harmful debris.

Besides Moscow, volunteers will be needed for clean-ups in Chilo and New Richmond and several other sites.

"If we didn't get rid of all of this each year it would pile up, polluting the river more and more. So many people use the river for fishing and boating and for recreation. It's important to keep the river as clean as possible," said Keith Robinson, a naturalist with the Clermont County Park District.

He also coordinates the river cleanup at the Crooked Run Nature Preserve in Chilo.

More than 100 counties in six states participate in the daylong event. And residents from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill., are expected to line the banks of the Ohio River for the cleanup.

In Clermont County, cleanup sites will include areas around the Beckjord and Zimmer power stations and the Meldahl Lock and Dam. But volunteers are needed mainly at the sites in Moscow, Chilo, and New Richmond.

Volunteers are asked to wear work clothes and will be provided with free T-shirts, while supplies last. Lunch and refreshments will also be provided.

For more information, call 876-9013 to help in Chilo. In New Richmond, call 553-4146. In Moscow volunteers or those seeking information can call 553-2320 or 553-4869.

For sites outside of Clermont County call the River Sweep hot line, 800-359-3977.


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