Riverkeeper Cleanup Cup a close competition

Published 2:39 pm Sunday, April 24, 2016

From Sound Rivers

Thanks to a group of highly dedicated volunteers, the eighth annual Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge was a success. One hundred and seventy-five volunteers from multiple communities up and down the Tar-Pamlico River removed just under 5,000 pounds of trash from the river and its banks on April 16. In Franklin County, a total of 15 volunteers collected 1,160 pounds of trash from the Tar River and surrounding areas to claim this year’s title as Riverkeeper Cup Champions.

“I would like to thank all of the individuals who donated their time on Saturday to help clean up their communities and their beloved River. We are all winners,” said the Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Heather Deck.

Cleanups occurred in Franklin County, Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Greenville and Washington, and this year was our closest competition yet, with less than 100 pounds of trash separating first-, second- and third-place winners for this friendly competition. Volunteers in Tarboro, claimed second place by collecting 1,095, while the city of Rocky Mount was a close third, collecting 1,070 pounds of trash. The City of Greenville collected an even 1,000 pounds of trash, and a small crew of dedicated volunteers collected 640 pounds of trash and recyclables from Washington.

The cleanup competition began in 2009, when then Washington Mayor Judy Jennette issued the citywide cleanup challenge that was accepted by past Greenville Mayor Pat Dunn. The community that collects the most trash by weight is honored with a Riverkeeper Cup trophy, and now five town compete in this friendly competition each spring. Great Outdoor Provision Company in Greenville sponsored the cleanup this year, sending their staff to assist as safety boats on the water and Great Outdoor Provision Company also gave away four gift cards to our cleanup volunteers.

Sound Rivers (formerly the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation) has organized biannual river cleanups since 2006. To date, volunteers have removed nearly 50 tons of trash from the river and our river basin communities over the past eight years.

Sound Rivers is a grassroots nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect and improve the environmental quality of the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers, its watersheds and estuaries. For more information, visit www.soundrivers.org.