BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper's Spring Sweep cleanup is back, but instead of just one, two-hour event, there will be a week-long cleanup series of events.
Small group cleanups will be held at 40 sites from Niagara County to southern Erie County on Saturday, April 24 and Saturday, May 1. Pre-registration is required.
There will be different time slots each day to maintain distance between volunteers and follow COVID-19 protocols.
2 On Your Side caught the clean-up effort in progress on Saturday at Red Jacket Riverfront Park, along the Buffalo River, where chunks of cardboard, plywood, scrap metal and plastic were all collected along the shore.
The group is also running a week-long pollution prevention campaign, which aims to highlight individual actions we can all take to prevent litter and trash from causing harm in our communities.
"There's a lot of work to do, and unfortunately it doesn't stop after Earth Day. It kind of continues all year round. We are encouraging people to do their solo sweeps and also take part in some pollution prevention action," said Claudia Rosen, Senior Community Engagement Coordinator at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is also encouraging people to do solo sweeps at any time and place. Cleanup supplies are available at the Waterkeeper offices, located at 721 Main Street in Buffalo. You can pick up equipment on April 23rd and April 30th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Site captains will keep track of the trash that's been removed. Solo sweepers are asked to record their own data at the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper website.
According to a release, more than 1,500 volunteers have already registered to help keep litter out of Western New York’s waterways. The Great Lakes Cleanup goal is to remove more than 68 metric tons of trash from the Great Lakes by 2022.
“New York is a Great Lakes state, and protection of our globally significant resources often falls on the shoulders of frontline communities and organizations,” said Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka. "Our collective action and cooperation is intended to benefit the health and future of the millions of people and species that call the Great Lakes Basin their home and we can’t wait to mobilize thousands more citizens and volunteers in these clean-up efforts.”