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Hudson Valley Press

May 28th, 2014

NRC Hosts Riverkeeper Sweep 2014 Cleanup

Groups shot of Newburgh Rowing Club and NFA High School rowers and coaches and community volunteers holding up some of the garbage, in front of the Taylor Recycling dumpster. Photo: Riverkeeper

NEWBURGH - On Saturday, May 10th, the Newburgh Rowing Club hosted the 2014 Riverkeeper Sweep at the Newburgh Rowing Club Boathouse, part of a national event connecting volunteers to dozens of shoreline cleanups, tree-plantings and other service projects along the Hudson River, said Newburgh Rowing Club Programs Director Coach Ed Kennedy, with Newburgh volunteers collecting over 3 tons of debris from the Ward Brothers Memorial Park.

"Riverkeeper is particularly thankful to the student members of the Newburgh Rowing Club, and the community volunteers, who demonstrated their commitment to the Hudson River and the Newburgh waterfront by giving their time for this service project," said Dan Shapley, Membership and Events Manager for Riverkeeper. "This year, Riverkeeper Sweep engaged hundreds of volunteers at 82 projects between New York City and Albany. Volunteers and more than 200 clubs, organizations, businesses and municipalities partnered with Riverkeeper to clean shorelines, plant trees and improve waterfront parks."

"We had volunteers from the Newburgh Rowing Club, the NFA High School Crew Team, Riverkeeper and the community at large come out and work all afternoon, collecting over 3 tons of debris, which was comprised of approximately 2 tons of driftwood and one ton of man-made garbage," said Coach Kennedy. "Out rowers clean up the Ward Brothers Memorial Park, where we are located, every day, and that discourages people from coming down here and dumping garbage, as they used to do before the Newburgh Rowing Club was here. Ten years ago, this park was an unofficial garbage dump, it took us almost 5 years just to clear the mountains of garbage and debris out of here."

"I would like to give a big thank you to Taylor Recycling, who once again donated the dumpsters for this event. They were instrumental in clearing this site originally a decade ago, donating dumpster after dumpster, year after year, and they have continued to give back to the Newburgh Rowing Club by donating dumpsters for green projects such as this several times a year. Without Jim Taylor, you would be looking at a big garbage mountain right now instead of a beautiful park."

"Our rowers work tirelessly to keep the Hudson River clean, something which separates them from all other athletes and I commend them," said Coach Kennedy, "But this was a herculean effort and we couldn’t have done it without members of the general community, such as the Doering Family. Kyle Doering came out from Wallkill, after his baseball game, still in uniform, and hauled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, he was a trooper."

"We would also like to thank the City of Newburgh, for granting us the permit," said Juliana LoBiondo, Team Mom for the Newburgh Rowing Club, "as well as the Newburgh Brewing Company. As a special treat, they gave us coupons for a free brew to any adult who participated. However, since we had a lot of children helping us out, it looks like I owe them some ice cream this week."

"People like the helpers at the Newburgh Rowing Club site are the reason the Hudson River today is cleaner than it was in generations past," said Shaply, of Riverkeeper, "and they’re the reason we can look forward to a cleaner Hudson in the future."

Riverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. For nearly 50 years, Riverkeeper has been New York’s clean water advocate.

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