Record Numbers of Volunteers Anticipated, April 14, 2012
(Washington, DC) Nearly 15,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s 24th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, the main day of which takes place tomorrow on April 14th. Led by the Alice Ferguson Foundation and our partner organizations, volunteers will be removing trash and debris from the region at hundreds of cleanup sites throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The Cleanup depends on dedicated volunteers and partners – such as youth groups, watershed associations, churches, businesses, teachers, community and government agency leaders, and elected officials – to make it a success. “While I hope there will be a day when the Potomac River is trash free, I am proud to join the thousands of dedicated volunteers who are working to keep our streams clean,” said Delegate David Bulova, 37th District, Virginia.
Some highlighted Cleanup participants include:
- Vice Chair Walter Tejada, Arlington County Board, VA
- Delegate Scott Surovell, 44th District, VA
- Delegate David Bulova, 37th District, VA
- Mayor Jacqueline Goodall, Town of Forest Heights, MD
- Mayor Judith Davis, City of Greenbelt, MD
- Council Member Karen Tome, Brunswick, MD
- Delegate Michael Hough, District 3B, MD
- Council Member Nina Young, Brentwood, MD
“This year, we hope to see the largest volunteer turnout yet,” said Lori Arguelles, Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. “The Annual Cleanup a great way for volunteers to spend time outdoors helping out their communities, and it also seeks to create greater awareness to the causes of and solutions to the litter problem that plagues the Potomac region.”
The Annual Cleanup is a catalyst event for the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative, which seeks to create a lasting reduction of litter and waste in the Potomac Watershed through public education, enforcement, market incentives and strong policy and regulatory efforts. The data gathered from the hundreds sites during cleanups during the month of April is used throughout the year by the Initiative to help track trash hot spots, mark progress, and target policy areas intended to reduce litter in the region. Last year 11,388 volunteers removed 456,000 (228 tons) of debris from 613 sites throughout the Potomac Watershed.
Litter is a threat to public health and the regional economy. It harms wildlife, decreases property values, hurts business, and is a financial burden for local governments. Since 1989, the Cleanup has engaged more than 100,000 volunteers and over 425 partner organizations and removed over 3 million tons of trash from the Watershed.
The Cleanup is sponsored by The Summit Fund of Washington, REI, Telemundo, Skanska Infrastructure Development, Mom’s Organic Market, ExxonMobil, Washington Gas, GenOn, Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company, Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources, District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce, HMS Host, Arnold & Porter, DC Water, The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association.
Editor’s note: To cover a site at this year’s event, contact Alena Rosen at 202.580.9045 or email [email protected]