News > News > Preserve River Ecology > 4th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep tops 100 cleanup sites

4th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep tops 100 cleanup sites

For Immediate Release

April 13, 2015
Contact: Cliff Weathers, Communications Director
914-478-4501, Ext. 239

May 9 day of service has grown to be a powerful force in the restoration of the Hudson.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Interviews with local organizers of Sweep service projects throughout the Hudson Valley, Capital District and New York City can be arranged.

OSSINING, NY — In just four years, the annual Riverkeeper Sweep has grown from 30 clean-up and stewardship sites in 2012 to 100 — and possibly more — this year.

As more people become engaged in restoring the Hudson River and its tributaries, the Sweep — to be held on Saturday, May 9 — will make a visible impact in communities from Red Hook in South Brooklyn to Troy in the Capital District. Registration is open at Volunteers will be provided with gloves and trash bags.

In the first three years of the Sweep, volunteers removed more than 75 tons of trash from our shorelines, planted or maintained hundreds of shoreline trees, and performed other service projects to improve public access to the Hudson River and its tributaries.

Dana Gulley, Riverkeeper’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Outreach and Volunteer Programs, said: “Sweep volunteers remove items big and small, from tiny pieces of broken down Styrofoam to discarded tires and plastic lawn furniture. Removing these items from our shoreline and waterways not only protects wildlife and the ecology of our rivers and streams, but also works to reduce future dumping and littering.”

The Sweep is powered by more than 100 partnerships including schools, scout troops, businesses and community groups. Some 150 local Sweep leaders help drive volunteerism. Examples of new sites and partnerships include:

  • The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program’s “Trees for Tribs” initiative, which focuses on tree-planting to improve water quality and habitat. This brings the Sweep further north and deeper into the watershed with two tree planting projects and six tree-maintenance projects along several Hudson tributaries.
  • In Brooklyn, Riverkeeper has several new Sweep sites this year, including the East River State Park, Newtown Creek and the Thomas Greene Playground on the Gowanus Canal. (The waters around New York City, including the East and Harlem Rivers, the Newtown Creek and Gowanus Canal, are part of the Hudson River Estuary.)
  • In Rockland County, Riverkeeper continues its partnership with Keep Rockland Beautiful and will add Emeline Park and Bowline Park to the county’s Sweep sites. Rockland sites are also being sponsored by the newly-formed Rockland Water Task Force this year.
  • In 2015, Riverkeeper has partnered with several land conservancies, including the Greene Land Trust, Columbia Land Conservancy, the Westchester Land Trust and the Rensselaer Land Trust.

“The Riverkeeper Sweep is a wonderful opportunity to partner with other organizations that are about protecting our watershed and waterways,” said Sonia Cairo, Keep Rockland Beautiful’s Executive Director. “We are pleased to have five sites in Rockland this year where volunteers can participate in the clean-up. The Sweep also helps draw attention to the important link between our storm drains and our waterways.”
At least eleven local breweries have signed on as partners this year, offering a post-event beverage to volunteers.

The Sweep is the signature New York event in the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series, presented by Toyota and designed to connect people to their waterways. Other sponsors include the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Rocket Fuel, Ironshore, EILEEN FISHER, Paragon Sports, Sprout Watches, VOS Selections, JSA Financial, Orvis, the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, Pleasant Valley Stone and these individuals: Joe and Daryl Boren, and John and Gillett Gilbert.

A photograph of last year’s event is attached for media consideration.

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