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Volunteers Haul 29 Tons Of Trash From Delaware River

August 29, 2006

Two shopping carts, a rubber ducky, parts of several portable toilets, a stroller, a boat motor, and 235 tires were amongst the 29 tons of junk removed by 200 volunteers from a 35-mile-long stretch of the Delaware River on August 16th.

Paddling canoes and kayaks, the volunteers searched the river in four to ten mile sections for debris deposited by the three major floods that hit the park between September, 2004, and this past June. The most recent flood occurred on June 29th, when the Delaware River crested at 32 feet about 27 feet above normal for that date.

The one-day cleanup effort was organized by the park, with support from ten local canoe liveries and two Pennsylvania townships. Canoes, kayaks, paddles, life jackets and shuttle transportation were provided by the liveries. Employees and equipment from Milford and Delaware Townships hauled away the trash collected in the park. The volunteers included scouts, an Outward Bound group of merit scholars from Philadelphia, a number of park employees and their families, and many veterans of past river clean up events.

At the end of the day, tired participants shared stories of the ordinary and the bizarre objects they collected. They made comments about the refuse they had to leave behind items too large or too hazardous to load into a canoe. Overall, there was a sense of accomplishment 29 tons of it.

Kittatinny Canoes, a long-time outfitter on the Middle and Upper Delaware, began the annual river clean up in 1990. Still recovering from the June 2006 flood, Kittatinny Canoes had to cancel its cleanup plans for this summer. Rather than let a great tradition disappear, superintendent John Donahue made a commitment to have the park sponsor the event this year.

The event was managed under ICS (Rich Degnan, IC).


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