MERIDEN — After a hiatus last year because of the pandemic, the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association river cleanup event will be held Saturday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon.
“Since having to cancel and scale down cleanup efforts since spring 2020, the need has unfortunately grown even more than usual as trash continues to build up in and around the water,” said Elisabeth James, river cleanup coordinator.
“Between the buildup of trash and most adults now being vaccinated, we thought it was safe to move forward with a distanced, outdoor event.”
The source of the Quinnipiac River begins in the Dead Swamp in Farmington and flows roughly southward to Plainville, Southington and Cheshire, west of Meriden, through Wallingford, Yalesville and North Haven, and into New Haven Harbor.
The river cleanup event started in the 1970s. Before the pandemic, it would draw 50 to 100 volunteers.
“Local volunteers meet at the QRWA headquarters building on Oregon Road in fall and spring and clean trash and debris from the Quinnipiac River and Hanover Pond,” said David James, president and river cleanup coordinator and the father of Elisabeth James. “... We occasionally spread the event to surrounding towns and areas within the watershed.”
Groups will be spread out and must bring their own snacks this year. The headquarters building, 540 Oregon Road, will be used minimally.
“We are asking that volunteers do their best to maintain social distancing regardless of vaccination status,” Elisabeth James said “Hand sanitizer will be on site and the building will only be open for the bathroom. Masks are encouraged but not required since we will be outdoors.”
Trash bags, gloves, some waders and guides will be provided by the association. Volunteers are advised to wear weather-appropriate work clothes.
“We are lucky to have a group of dedicated volunteers, and we miss them,” Elisabeth James said. “We can't wait to see volunteers in person.”
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or come to the headquarters building, 540 Oregon Road, on Sept. 11. Updates will be available on the watershed association Facebook page.