What’s trashing Virginia waterways? Volunteers needed to find out

What’s trashing Virginia waterways? Volunteers needed to find out
This year, as volunteers clean Virginia waterways, they will track littered masks and other personal protective equipment. (Source: Photo source; Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Volunteers are needed to pick up trash along Virginia waterways and log what type of litter they find, as part of an international coastal cleanup.

More than 8,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s Project Clean Stream, which tracks the types and amount of trash found in and around waterways as they clean.

“Attendance records are being set in parks across Virginia as people are spending more time outside, and this is leading to more litter,” said Katie Register of Clean Virginia Waterways. “We need as much involvement from the community as possible to make this a successful event to help preserve the natural beauty and health of the state’s waterways.”

Virginia Volunteers are expected to bag more than 130,000 pounds of litter, which can help communities identify hotspots, sources of pollution and cleanup solutions. The data is combined with international results.

For the first time since the cleanup project began 26 years ago, it will track the number of littered masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment.

“Everyone has an opportunity to make a difference for cleaner water, starting in their own communities," said Kate Fritz, executive director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. “This annual cleanup is a great way for every resident in Virginia to get involved with beautifying their community and protecting their local river or stream."

Cigarette butts, which are plastic, are the most common debris reported in Virginia most years. Other commonly seen items are food wrappers and drink containers.

Interested in hosting a cleanup event? Email cleanva@longwood.edu or visit this website.

For a full list of public events in Virginia during September and October, visit this site.

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