Record Setting Clean-up

Record Setting Clean-up

Volunteers found huge amounts of trash and persevered despite wind and rain Saturday.

More than 121 tons of trash were removed from the Potomac River on April 3. The 16th annual cleanup, organized by the Alice Ferguson Foundation, had more than 150 cleanup sites along the length of the river, including several in the Potomac area.

As of Saturday afternoon, about 63 percent of the sites had reported in their cleanup totals, so the amount of trash cleaned up is expected to go up dramatically. "It went really great," said Tracy Bowen, executive director of the Foundation.

The cleanup is not over yet for some. "It looks like 10 sites were on soccer fields in Virginia," Bowen said. Those sites were too muddy to clean-up, so the volunteers will clean them later, Bowen said.

As usual, some of the items pulled out of the river have organizers scratching their heads. "We have enough to furnish a couple houses," Bowen said. Items like kitchen appliances, furniture and boilers were removed from the river, along with countless tires.

The cleanup also featured elected officials at some sites, including Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R). "He got really muddy and took a lot of trash away," Bowen said She explained it helps for government officials to get a hands-on look at the river which they are charged with protecting. "We’re just into having all our elected officials come out,” Bowen said.