Letter: Cleanup essential
The Recorder (Oct. 1) is disingenuous when in one breath it offers “kudos” to the almost 2,000 volunteers who each year haul garbage from the rivers of New England’s largest watershed and wonders “why the Source-to-Sea Cleanup is necessary.” The annual event is important and needed for many reasons: pollution control; understanding of riparian and riverine habitat; educational, economic and recreational opportunities; sustainability; community; and pride of place. The Connecticut River watershed is our home, so we should care for it. By not cleaning our rivers each year, we allow people to degrade wildlife habitat and destroy the scenic, recreational, and economic value of our waters. Less than a century ago, most of New England’s rivers were toxic; people and industry thought nothing of using them as waste disposal sites. As evidenced by the 50-plus tons of trash and toxic materials the volunteers pull from rivers each year, uninformed people still are dumping in our waters. The Cleanup is essential to the ongoing fight to restore the ecology of the Connecticut River watershed and to teaching us the value of New England’s environment.
Sanford is a past executive director of the Connecticut River Watershed Council; she organized the first Source-to-Sea Cleanup in 1994.