Source to Sea Cleanup scheduled for Oct. 1

By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Sep. 22, 2011
The Connecticut River is a popular recreational site for kayakers, especially in the spring when the water levels tend to be higher from the snow melt. The 15th annual Source to Sea Cleanup to remove trash from the Connecticut and its tributaries is Oct. 1. Photos by Jennifer Holloway.
The Connecticut River is a popular recreational site for kayakers, especially in the spring when the water levels tend to be higher from the snow melt. The 15th annual Source to Sea Cleanup to remove trash from the Connecticut and its tributaries is Oct. 1. Photos by Jennifer Holloway.

On Oct. 1, volunteers will once again descend on the Connecticut River and its tributaries as part of the 15th annual Source to Sea Cleanup. Beginning in Canada, the Connecticut River flows through New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut before emptying into Long Island Sound. The one-day cleanup is a chance for those living near the river to remove trash, which helps wildlife, decreases pollution and makes the river a more enjoyable place to visit.

Mike Dynia is the chairman of the Scantic River Watershed Association, which partners with the Connecticut River Watershed Council for the cleanup. Dynia said the event is a great way for people to give back to their community.

“A lot of people hike and fish near the Connecticut,” he said. “It’s the main river going through town, so we want to get the area clean.”

Dynia remembers a time when the Connecticut was not so clean. As a child, he fished in the river and recalls it being a much dirtier place than it is now. “Recreational use has come back, fishing has come back,” he said.

Last year in Enfield, Dynia said about 45 people came out to clean up the Connecticut and the Scantic rivers. The Enfield cleanup is one of the largest ones; in the 12 years the town has participated, volunteers have collected more than 100 tons of trash. During last year’s cleanup, about 50 tons were collected from the entire length of the river.

“We’ve seen the amount of trash we pick up go down in the last four to five years,” said Dynia. “We seem to have less every year.”
While that is a positive sign, volunteers are still needed to walk the banks of the Connecticut and the Scantic and remove whatever trash they find. Volunteers with canoes, kayaks or motorized boats are also needed.

Dynia said volunteers should wear boots or old sneakers, old clothes and gloves and expect to get a little dirty and muddy. The water level is higher this year from all of the recent storms, and safety will be addressed before people head out.

Volunteers can meet at the Donald Barnes Boat Launch on South River Street in Enfield at 8 a.m. on Oct. 1 for registration and work assignments. Participants can expect to work until noon. For more information or to make a donation of money or supplies like trash bags, gloves and plywood used to haul large debris, contact Betty Slanetz at 860-749-8319, Gretchen Pfeifer-Hall at 860-749-6594 or Mike Dynia with the Scantic River Watershed Association at 860-745-9986.


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