Dozens expected to help cleanup Kanawha River on Saturday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dozens of volunteers are expected to turn out to clean the Kanawha River on Saturday.

Josh Hamrick, with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) said 30th annual Great Kanawha River Cleanup, sponsored by the WVDEP Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan’s Make It Shine program is set to go from 9 a.m. until at Noon at multiple locations on the river.

“We will work on cleaning up the river,” he said. “Partially it is a beautification process but also it gets ride of nonpoint source pollution. So we are trying to improve water quality as well as trying to let people get out for the day.”

Cleanup sites include Winfield Beach, Magic Island, the South Charleston boat ramp, and Kanawha Falls at Glen Ferris.

Hamrick said volunteers numbers have not dropped off even though the liter numbers have dropped. REAP will supply bags and gloves for volunteers and arrange for trash to be hauled away. All volunteers will receive a T-shirt.

Hamrick said garbage in the river and surrounding area does a lot of damage.

“It does effect the quality of the water that you would bath in or even drink and cook your food with,” he said. “There is also the damage to the ecosystem in terms of fish or birds getting plastic wrapped around their necks.”

WVDEP said the 2018 Great Kanawha River Cleanup focused the efforts of more than 65 volunteers, who spent more than 200 man-hours collecting nearly 1.5 tons of waste and six tires from sites in three counties.

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