A sort of collective spring cleaning of more than 1,900 miles of riverbank - River Sweep 2012 - is scheduled for Saturday.
The annual River Sweep, sponsored by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and West Virginia Make It Shine Program, enlists approximately 21,000 volunters in the six states bordering the shoreline of the Ohio River and many of its tributaries to clean thousands of tons of trash and junk from the stream's banks.
It is a wonderful program, now in its 23rd year, that makes what amounts to the Mid-Ohio Valley's watery backyard more attractive for those of us who live here - and more appealing for visitors and those interested in economic development.
River Sweep is a success because so many people spend a few hours each year participating. Now, volunteers for this Saturday's cleanup are being sought. If you are interested, show up at Point Park in Parkersburg and Williamstown Boat Landing in Williamstown, where volunteers will work from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In Washington County, the site is Devol's Dam, where volunteers will clean from 9 a.m. to noon.
It is suggested volunteers wear old clothes, sturdy boots and work gloves. Trash bags will be provided.
River Sweep has been one of the most effective mobilizations of area residents for many years. If you can, we encourage you to help make it a success again this year.
"We always need volunteers," ORSANCO Program Manager Jeanne Ison said Wednesday. "This river is perfect for this year. The levels are down. We should be able to find and remove a lot of items we couldn't get to last year because the water was high. We're ready to go."