Thursday, February 27, 2020

Volunteers Needed!!

On-River volunteers with canoes, kayaks or jon boats are needed for the annual Occoquan River clean up. On Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. (rain date April 28, 2020), is the 11th annual clean-up of the upper Occoquan River, from nine different sites along 25+ miles of the Occoquan River. The clean-up ranges from Cedar Run/Broad Run, through Lake Jackson, and from the base of Lake Jackson Dam to Hooes Run (south of Lake Ridge Marina). This cleanup is part of the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s ( Potomac River Watershed Cleanup.

This massive collection of trash from the Occoquan River happens every year and on the river is the combined effort of the Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition, Trash Free Potomac Watershed, Penguin Paddling, Prince William County Parks and Recreation Department and the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District . Come on out and help our community. Trash bags, gloves, water and refreshments will be provided to all participants. This is a true on the river cleanup and is done primarily by boat.

Experienced kayakers, canoeists, jon boaters, and pontoon boaters are needed. To sign up for this major on-the-water conservation effort. Some kayaks and canoes will be available for loan provided by Penguin Paddling (at Hooes Run) and the Prince William County Parks and Recreation Department (at Lake Ridge Marina). As in previous years, the cleanup will be staged from multiple sites along the river, from the canoe/kayak launch area below Lake Jackson dam, down to Lake Ridge / Hooes Run. If you are not a boater, you might want to join another of the cleanups that are happening practically every spring weekend.

Please visit for more information and to register for this event or contact Bill McCarty at or Veronica Tangiri at (571-379-7514) . The signup has all the launch and take-out locations. 

This cleanup is part of the 31st Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup coordinated by the Alice Ferguson Foundation working with the region’s soil and water conservation districts, community groups, employers, and schools happens in spring throughout the region. The Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is the largest regional event of its kind so that you or your group can still participate this year. It is a great single day volunteer opportunity.

Unfortunately, it is necessary to hold these river cleanups annually. Year after year volunteers clean our roadways, streams, rivers, and streambeds of trash that started as litter and carried along by stormwater and wind into our waterways and parks. We also remove items that were illegally dumped in the woods or carried by off by storms. Every year rain flushes huge volumes of debris off the landscape. During last year’s clean-up more than 205 Volunteers  (45 on-water) collected 241  trash bags, 9 tires and other items.   Over 4495 pounds of trash was collected. Volunteers cleaned up debris on the water, six stormwater retention ponds and other land sites. This year we hope to get even more help! If we do not collect this trash ultimately it is washed into the Chesapeake Bay.

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