On Saturday May 6, over 1,250 volunteers worked with Canalway to protect the Cuyahoga River by dedicating two hours to picking up tires, plastic bags, discarded water bottles and other trash from more than 20 cleanup locations around the river valley.

Preliminary estimates find volunteers removed approximately 27 tons of garbage plus hundreds of dumped tires from the river corridor.

RiverSweep volunteers picked up litter directly out of the Cuyahoga River in kayaks and paddle boards with help from Argonaut, the Surfrider Foundation of Northern Ohio, Trash Fish and the Port of Cleveland’s Flotsam and Jetsam.

Volunteers also picked up trash in four Cleveland neighborhoods: The Flats, Ohio City, Tremont and Slavic Village as well as in Garfield Heights and Cuyahoga Heights.

Started in 1989, the goal of RiverSweep is to protect the river and remove garbage from areas that could be future trails or parks in the Cuyahoga River corridor. Over the course of 33 years, 20 thousand volunteers have helped recycle 24,757 illegally discarded tires and pick up almost 1.5 million pounds trash.

The cleanup effort has helped communities reduce public dumping and encouraged the creation of parks and trails.

“RiverSweep’s focus on litter removal has reduced public dumping areas along the Cuyahoga River and made way for parks and trails over the last 34 years,” said Mera Cardenas, Executive Director of Canalway. “This past weekend, the event brought together more than 1,000 volunteers from all over our community to illustrate the commitment we have to preserving and protecting our river and greenspaces.”

RiverSweep 2023 was presented by Canalway with financial support from Cargill, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, and the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation as well as dozens of community partners providing both financial and in-kind donations. The full community list can be found at CanalwayPartners.com.

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