American Rivers Organizing Nationwide Cleanups

Wednesday, 24 January 2007
National River Cleanup Week (June 2-10, 2007) Presented by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Volunteers Wanted:

WASHINGTON, DC Millions of tons of trash wind up in our nation’s rivers and streams every year, and American Rivers is harnessing the environmental passion and community pride of thousands of people to do something about it. The nation’s leading river advocacy organization is encouraging citizens to take part in National River Cleanup Week, presented by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and set for June 2-10, 2007.

This annual event, which kicks off a series of cleanups across the country, falls during National River Awareness Month next year.

Since its inception by America Outdoors in 1992, National River Cleanup Week has helped to raise public awareness of the magnitude of trash accumulating in our nation’s waterways. Over the years more than 500,000 volunteers have participated in over 4,500 cleanups across the country, covering more than 100,000 miles of waterways. This past spring saw a record 422 cleanups, with an estimated 60,000 volunteers removing trash from their local rivers and streams.

“A healthy river is a valuable asset to any community, and we’re encouraging everyone to be a part of a program that has removed over 1,000 tons of litter and debris from beloved rivers and streams all over the nation,” said Rebecca Wodder, President of American Rivers. “A cleaner river is a healthier one, and healthy rivers benefit all the communities through which they flow.”

Not just a worthy cause, the cleanups also are fun for everyone. That explains why so many environmental organizations, civic clubs, paddle-sports groups, federal and state agencies, and schools organize these events in their local communities.

“You can’t find a more hands-on way to get people directly involved in protecting the rivers they love,” added Wodder.

Anyone wishing to organize a cleanup can do so by first identifying a stretch of river, stream or shoreline, and then registering the event online. The website offers helpful tips for conducting a successful cleanup, including how to recruit volunteers and promote the event to the public. American Rivers supplies trash bags for every cleanup. To register a cleanup or volunteer to participate, visit:

As part of its support, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is offering a free coffee mug and coffee sample to organizers who register their cleanup online by April 15, 2007. Corporate sponsors including Old Town Canoes and Kayaks, Perception kayaks, Wilderness Systems, and Thule car racks are providing free prizes to lucky volunteers who win various contests (best photo, video, publicity, and student essay).


Type of Litter Fast food waste (33%); Paper (29%); Aluminum (28%); Glass (6%); Plastic (2%); Other (2%)

How Long Litter Lasts Orange peel (2-5 weeks); Paper bag (1 month); Cigarette butt (up to 5 years); Leather shoe (45 years); Plastic bottle (430 years); Aluminum can (200-500 years); Disposable diaper (550 years); Glass bottle (Approx. 1 million years); Styrofoam container (1 million years).


Founded in 1973, American Rivers is a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy natural rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature. American Rivers has over 65,000 supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California and Northwest regions.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is dedicated to providing the richest aroma and flavor, for the highest quality coffee experience. Green Mountain Coffee travels the globe to purchase the finest coffees, batch roast them to peak flavor, and vacuum package them fresh for your enjoyment.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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