The 25th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup tackles river trash

Source to Sea Cleanup along the Connecticut River. Photo provided
Source to Sea Cleanup along the Connecticut River. Photo provided

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – Registration is now open for Connecticut River Conservancy’s 25th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup Sept. 24-26. The annual Source to Sea Cleanup is a river cleanup coordinated by CRC in all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin. This event is one of the largest river cleanups in the country. Thousands of volunteers remove trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails, and more. Anyone interested in getting dirty for cleaner rivers can get more information and register at, or join a virtual Cleanup Coffee Hour Sept. 9 to learn more.

“For our 25th anniversary we wanted to make this year’s cleanup a truly community-driven event,” said Stacey Lennard, CRC’s Cleanup Coordinator. “The Source to Sea Cleanup strengthens community while cleaning up our rivers and streams. It’s an opportunity for you to make a difference. Our new registration system lets anyone report a trashy site and volunteer in whatever capacity they can – all in one place.”

For the last 25 years, CRC has coordinated this annual event across four states, targeting trash-ridden sites, organizing volunteers, and equipping them with the tools needed to get the job done. The new streamlined registration process will allow anyone to report a site in need of trash removal, start their own cleanup group, or find a local volunteer group to join. Groups can clean up anywhere trash is found or can adopt one of the reported trash sites in need of cleaning. Group leaders can order free gloves and trash bags from CRC through the same system. Participants are also encouraged to share photos and videos of their experience using #RiverWitness on social media.

“If you need help finding a site you can check out our map of reported trash sites in need of adoption or get in touch with us,” Lennard said. “Make sure you’re familiar with what’s out there and what risks there may be for your volunteers. Scouting your site ahead of time is very important.”

Group leaders are an essential part of the Source to Sea Cleanup, responsible for bringing together a team of volunteers, scouting a cleanup site, and collecting, disposing, and tallying trash. Cleanup volunteers can use the CleanSwell smartphone app, developed by the Ocean Conservancy, to tally this year’s trash.

Over 1,300 volunteers participated in last year’s Source to Sea Cleanup, held across the entire month of September due to the pandemic. Two hundred groups collected 34.9 tons of trash along 262 miles of river, according to CRC’s trash tallies.

Leading up to this year’s Source to Sea Cleanup, CRC is hosting a series of virtual Cleanup Coffee Hours. The final Coffee Hour Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. is an open session for any questions you may have. You can watch recordings of prior Coffee Hours on CRC’s YouTube channel to learn more about registering for the Source to Sea Cleanup, connecting with a group, choosing a cleanup site, tallying and disposing of your trash. Coffee Hour details and registration can be found at

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