A one-day event, the 6th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep will stretch from Brooklyn to the Adirondacks and will bring out more than 100 teams of volunteers – about 2,200 people in all – to clean up and restore the Hudson River Valley and New York City shorelines on Saturday, May 6.
A scout troop will be part of a cleanup at North Creek, a community on the Upper Hudson in Adirondack Park, where the 60th Annual Hudson River Whitewater Derby will be under way.
The 6th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep, has grown every year since 2012 and has cleared a grand total of 164 tons of trash from the shorelines. (Click here to see data.) Volunteers gather debris by land or by boat. Other teams plant native grasses or care for newly planted trees. To join in, members of the public can search 105 locations and register here.
For the first time, Riverkeeper Sweep will extend north of Troy to the Upper Hudson and the Adirondacks, and will include the Bronx River in New York City.
During Riverkeeper Sweep 2016, 2,200 volunteers removed 48 tons of shoreline debris, including 423 tires, and planted or maintained more than 800 trees and shrubs. Data collectors at five sites documented the types of trash in detail.
Tires, plastic bottles, plastic bags and Styrofoam are among the most pervasive items polluting the shorelines. But the annual Sweep is having a lasting effect: More people are becoming engaged to work for healthier waterways and for measures to reduce the use of plastic. And at many sites, less trash is being found along the shores.
Local schools, scout troops, paddling groups, clubs and park staff organize each of the local projects in partnership with Riverkeeper.
Paddlers will take to canoes and kayaks at several locations, picking up trash from the Hudson and tributaries like the Wallkill River.
Regional and global studies are yielding alarming data about plastic pollution in our waterways. Plastic can harm marine life by attracting and releasing contaminants into the water, and by being ingested by fish. Riverkeeper is a member of the Trash Free Waters Partnership, a collaboration across public, private, and nonprofit sectors to reduce plastic and debris in all water bodies, primarily in the New York / New Jersey region.
Sweep volunteers are invited to meet after their projects at any of 26 Hudson Valley and New York City breweries for a beverage on the house: Albany Pump Station (CH Evans Brewing Co.), Albany; Angry Orchard, Walden; Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn; Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Elmsford; Crossroads Brewing Company, Athens; Defiant Brewing Co., Pearl River; Greenpoint Beer and Ale, Brooklyn; Gun Hill Brewing Company, Bronx; The Guilded Otter, New Paltz; Hudson Valley Brewery, Beacon; Industrial Arts Brewing Company, Garnerville; Keegan Ales, Kingston, Kings County Brewers Collective, Brooklyn; Mill House Brewing Company, Poughkeepsie; Newburgh Brewing Company, Newburgh; North River Hops and Brewing, Wappingers Falls; Other Half Brewing, Brooklyn; Peekskill Brewery, Peekskill; Plan Bee Farm Brewery, Poughkeepsie; P&G Restaurant, New Paltz; SingleCut Beersmiths, Astoria, Queens; Suarez Family Brewery, Hudson; Transmitter Brewing, Long Island City; Two-Way Brewing, Beacon; Yard Owl Craft Brewery, New Paltz; Yonkers Brewing Company, Yonkers.
Riverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. For more information visit their website.