June 14, 2012
Pontoons play major role in river clean up
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Pontoon owners around the country are taking steps to help clean up their environment to keep this planet going for another generation. Big cities and smaller communities alike are getting into the act. Highlighting their efforts to further clean up the Chicago River, the mayor’s administration has been known to set out on a 30-foot pontoon boat to clean up river pollution. Besides retrieving debris, the boat's crew removed graffiti from the walls of the riverbank and reported larger problems, like oversize debris or businesses dumping debris into the river, to the appropriate agencies. If you are in the area, they encourage citizens to participate in Chicago River Day which is sponsored by Friends of the Chicago River organization.
Another annual event in a more rural environment is Kentucky River Authority’s 2012 River Sweep, which is an annual volunteer effort that started in 1991 to beautify the river area of the 32 counties in the Kentucky River Basin. On Saturday, June 16, 2012, volunteers will comb the Kentucky River above Lock 4 for trash and debris, which will clean the waterway for boaters, fishers and other river users. Volunteers have been meager in recent years, but Rodney Simpson with the Frankfort Boat Club, which is spearheading the local cleanup for the first time, says 10 pontoon boats have already been committed to the effort.
Jerry Graves, executive director of the river authority, said he expects a good turnout in all 32 river basin counties Saturday. The cleanup is intended to not only improve the river’s look, but also the water quality, he said. “We’re just trying to get the word out, and we’re trying to do the right thing,” Graves said.
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