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We can all help to keep our rivers beautiful

Volunteers have gathered on the banks of the Ohio River and its tributaries on a Saturday morning in June to pick up debris and trash for many years now.

Last weekend’s River Sweep, its 28th year, is the largest environmental event of its kind. It encompasses six states and more than 3,000 miles of shoreline from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill., according to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, which organizes the event.

The overall quality of the Ohio River has greatly improved during the past several decades. There was a time when the river was more like a sewer. Heavy industry lined the banks on both sides. Communities dumped sewage into the river.

It took years, but the Ohio River has come back to the point where many people can enjoy a day on the boat, go fishing from the bank or just enjoy its natural beauty and wildlife.

But the increased use of the river has led to more trash and debris being left behind. High water also leaves debris behind on the banks, but there is no reason to let that trash and debris linger.

We need to be good stewards of the natural resource throughout the year, and espcially during the height of the boating and fishing season. If you are out on the river, take care to properly dispose of trash and remove debris if you can.

Thanks to those who pitched in to help with this year’s River Sweep and for those who missed it, remember that any time is a good time to walk the riverbank and clean up trash.

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