|Secretary Kempthorne joins Take Pride in America, DOI employees, and Living Lands and Waters in the Capital River Relief cleanup. He and the other volunteers helped pick up trash along the shore of the Potomac River . Last year, Capital River Relief volunteers collected 70 tons of garbage over a 30 mile span of the Potomac River.|
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne was joined by employees from the U.S. Department of the Interior today to volunteer in the Capital River Relief project, a large-scale clean up of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.
Secretary Kempthorne joined the volunteers at the start of a 4-hour shift during which the Interior Department volunteers were shuttled on small, 10-passenger boats to targeted sites along the banks of the Potomac River to collect litter and large debris.
“This shows the tremendous power of volunteerism,” Secretary Kempthorne said. “We came here today to lend a hand and do our part in protecting the Potomac and keeping our home beautiful. This is trash that won’t end up in habitats down river.”
The Capital River Relief project is an annual event sponsored in part by the Department of the Interior’s Take Pride in America® and made possible by Living Lands and Waters, an environmental organization that provides river barges, guides and years of experience in shoreline cleanup.
Last year, Capital River Relief volunteers collected 70 tons of garbage over a 30 mile span of the Potomac River and 16 miles of the Anacostia River. More than 1,000 volunteers have participated in the Capital River Relief project since it began in 2004.
“People know litter is an issue, but don’t realize until they’re out there picking it up just how bad the problem is,” said Tammy Becker, Education Coordinator for Living Lands and Waters. “It’s mostly stuff from the storm drains like Styrofoam coffee cups and soda cans but we get some pretty big items like tires and shopping carts too,” she said.
Take Pride in America® works to encourage volunteerism on public lands through national, regional and local partnerships with civic groups, government entities, businesses and community organizations. Every year they recognize volunteer efforts of individuals and groups with an annual awards ceremony in Washington D.C.