Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Seeking Volunteers for 4th Annual Great Plastic Purge


A volunteer removes a tire from the Susquehanna during last year's event. (Photo Credit: Lower Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER®)

HAVRE DE GRACE - The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association is seeking volunteers who want to make a substantial environmental impact at the "4th Annual Great Plastic Purge of the Lower Susquehanna," scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Susquehanna River continually faces a barrage of pollutants. Plastic debris, litter, tires, and other waste get discharged into the waterway, posing threats to aquatic and avian species. At last year's plastic purge, dedicated volunteers removed a staggering 5,920 pounds of trash from the Susquehanna in just 48 hours, according to the Penn State Extension.

Plastic waste in the Susquehanna [pictured] can persist for 20 to 500 years before breaking down, and instead of completely vanishing, it merely diminishes in size. (Photo Credit: Lower Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER®)

Event organizers have meticulously scouted locations, equipped team leaders, and gathered all necessary cleanup supplies. The only piece that needs to be added is more hands on deck.

This year, the cleanup efforts will concentrate on the River at Lake Aldred, a reservoir nestled between the Safe Harbor Dam and Holtwood Dam in Lancaster County, PA. 

Four cleanup sites have been identified, with one on the Lancaster side and three on the York side:

  • Site A: Pequea Boat Launch
  • Site B: York Furnace Boat Ramp (Ideal for first-timers)
  • Site C: Gamler's Boat Yard
  • Site D: McCalls Ferry Nature Preserve (A hike-and-pick adventure)

Volunteers are invited to participate, no matter their time commitment. Organizers have outlined clear guidelines for participants, ensuring their safety and maximizing the event's efficiency. Interested parties can register on the here.

The 4th Annual Great Plastic Purge of the Lower Susquehanna is a joint effort coordinated by several environmental stalwarts, including the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Conestoga River Club, Lancaster Conservancy, and more.

Those unable to volunteer can still play a part in preserving a clean Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay. Donations can be made to support the broader mission of ensuring clean water and holding polluters accountable on the Lower Susquehanna River Keeper's official website.

Prospective volunteers or groups with questions about the cleanup can contact brodi@lowsusriverkeeper.org for more information or assistance in selecting a site.

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