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Source to Sea  river cleanup nets  debris of all kinds

Among the debris pulled from the Connecticut River earlier this month during a “Source to the Sea” cleanup, was a large “Dam Ahead” warning sign, found just below the Turners Falls Dam by Deerfield Academy students.

But that — and more than 8,400 plastic bottles, 24 shopping carts, 464 tires, four batteries, and more than 40 cans of motor oil that 2,200 volunteers found along the 410-mile waterway and its tributaries — paled in comparison to a full truck bed pulled out of the river by a group in Enfield, Conn., using a small motorboat.

The event, organized by the Greenfield-based Connecticut River Watershed Council, drew 124 groups from four states to pull debris from the waterway beginning in North Stratford, N.H., near the Canadian border, and continuing all the way to the river’s mouth in Old Saybrook, Conn.

In the 17th annual cleanup, volunteers hauled an estimated 45 tons of trash from more than 130 miles of rivers and stream banks, with more than half of groups recycling what they could

Jacqueline Talbot, coordinator for the project, said “The cleanup is about strengthening community and allowing people to take meaningful action to improve their neighborhoods. When people help clean their rivers, they make connections with each other and their rivers. Those connections have benefits lasting well beyond the cleanup.”

Susan Norton, a cleanup volunteer in Northfield, added, “I love to think how I’m connected to everyone else on the river at this moment in time.”

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