The Riverkeeper Sweep organized for Saturday is billed a day of service for the Hudson River. More than 30 cleanups along the Hudson River will take place from New York City up to Troy with at least six along Rockland County’s shoreline and hundreds of volunteers expected to participate.
Following the cleanups, Riverkeeper will host a celebration and present Clean Water Champion Awards. The Rockland Coalition is one of the three recipients.
Riverkeeper released a statement describing the event’s purpose.
“Every day we benefit from living near the Hudson River – we benefit from its beauty, its wildlife, its recreational uses, its inspiration. The Riverkeeper Sweep is one day to give back.”
Volunteers will gather in Rockland at:
- Rockland Lake State Park for a 9:45 a.m. cleanup of the Black Beach and Old Ice Docks at Hook Mountain State Park. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes that can get wet and be prepared to walk three-quarters of a mile to the site.
- Stony Point marshes on the north and south sides will be access by kayak around 9:17 a.m.
- Stony Point’s Foundry Dock Park cleanup will occur between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. also by kayak.
- Little Stony Point cleanup is also scheduled for cleanup by kayak from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Memorial Park in Nyack for a cleanup between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Volunteers should wear rubber boots.
- Piermont Pier with kayaks to cleanup at low tide at 2:54 p.m.
To sign up as a volunteer and get more information about the sites go to: riverkeeper.org/sweep.
The day of service will culminate in a celebration from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., hosted by the Town of Ossining at Louis Engel Waterfront Park.
A special part of the festivities will be The Clean Water Champion awards presentation in support of Riverkeeper’s mission to restore the Hudson River and protect clean drinking water. The awardees are:
Rockland Water Coalition, a citizens group that has advocated for sustainable water use in Rockland County, instead of construction of a c desalination plant. Brooklyn Riverkeeper Action Group, a volunteer group working to support and promote Riverkeeper's efforts to clean New York City waterways in Brooklyn. U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, for a lifetime of public service that has benefited the Hudson River Valley.
"It's been an inspiration to see so many volunteers step up to organize cleanups in their communities. We hope to continue working with these volunteers, not only to keep the Hudson River beautiful, but also to make it safe for swimming, fishing and drinking," said Paul Gallay, President and Hudson Riverkeeper.
Andy Bicking, who managed Scenic Hudson’s Great River Sweep for 10 years and now is the group’s director of Public Policy, said, “Now the river faces new challenges. Our communities will benefit from Riverkeeper’s leadership in addressing debris that accumulated due to last year’s flooding as well as systemic water quality concerns throughout our region.”
A variety of festivities are planned for participating volunteers and the public. A $10 donation is suggested for some events.
- Free Live Music
- Capt. John Lipscomb and the Riverkeeper Patrol Boat
- Seining with Hudson River Estuary Program Naturalists Fly Fishing Demonstrations with Orvis
- Open House at the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club
- Playground for kids
- Riverkeeper members have the first come/first served opportunity to sail with the Ossining Community Sailing Club and kayak with Hudson River Recreation.
About Riverkeeper Sweep
Scenic Hudson created and led the Great River Sweep from 1998-2007, and removed 400 tons of riverside trash with thousands of volunteers, who continued the event’s award-winning achievements in subsequent years. Scenic Hudson remains a supporter of the initiative while maintaining its focus on saving land, creating parks and revitalizing waterfronts along the Hudson.
In 2012, Riverkeeper adopted the Sweep to respond to trash deposited by historic flooding in 2011, and to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a foundational environmental law that requires citizen leadership to succeed in achieving its goal of fishable, swimmable and drinkable water. This year, the Riverkeeper Sweep coincides with National Trails Day.