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Earth Day: Partners Aim To Scrub Schuylkill River Clean

Environmental groups throughout Southeast Pennsylvania have teamed up to promote river cleanups during a campaign called the Schuylkill Scrub on April 15 to May 31.
            Organizers created the Schuylkill Scrub to gather information about litter cleanups scheduled in the Schuylkill River Watershed.  Its purpose is to increase public participation in cleanups, as well as create new ones.  In doing so, they hope to measure and increase the amount of litter being removed, preserve clean drinking water, and protect wildlife.
            “Community groups have cleaned up small areas near the Schuylkill for many years.  However, most have little time or money to promote their events,” said Coordinator Tom Davidock of the Schuylkill Action Network.  “This campaign provides volunteer recruiters with a means to unite and improve their efforts so they are more effective, visible, and accountable to funders.”
            Those working to organize a cleanup are encouraged to register their event online.  Individuals interested in volunteering can also visit this website to find registered events in their community.
        Organizers of the Schuylkill Scrub are coordinating their efforts with the Great American Cleanup of PA, which also ends May 31.  The Great American Cleanup of PA is organized by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc.
            The Schuylkill Scrub is a collaborative effort by nearly a dozen environmental groups whose shared mission is protecting the Schuylkill River.  Each organization committed funds to the campaign, and more was acquired from Pennsylvania’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.  This fund is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help water suppliers improve sources of drinking water, like the Schuylkill River.
            The Schuylkill Scrub was founded in 2010 when the Green Valleys Association and the Hay Creek Watershed Association began coordinating their efforts near the border of Berks County and Montgomery County.
            The Schuylkill River travels 130 miles through the cities of Pottsville, Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, and Philadelphia.  Its watershed spans approximately 2,000 square miles of land in Berks, Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties, among others.
            For more information and other cleanup events in the Southeast, visit the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary website and the Schuylkill Scrub webpage.


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