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Local organizations will team up to clean up AuSable River

Volunteers show off bags of garbage removed from the AuSable River. (Provided photo — AuSable River Association)

WILMINGTON — The AuSable River Association and the Rotary Club of the AuSable Valley — in partnership with Rotary Club of Lake Placid, One Tree Planted, the Lake Champlain Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Adirondack Riverwalking — are hosting an AuSable River cleanup on Saturday, April 24.

The cleanup is open to all community members who want to restore and protect the beauty of the river’s West and East branches.

“In past years, we’ve hosted a river cleanup in September along the main stem AuSable River near Carpenter’s Flats,” Tyler Merriam, donor outreach manager at the AuSable River Association, said in a press release. “We’re excited to partner with so many great organizations this year to host a spring event as part of Rotary International’s Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup.”

The cleanup will take place along the roadside in an effort to remove trash built up over the winter. The West Branch portion will cover the roadside from Lake Everest in Wilmington to the ski jumps in Lake Placid. The East Branch portion will cover the roadside from the hamlet of Jay to the hamlet of Keene.

“The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup is not only a local Rotary Club Initiative but includes hundreds of Rotary clubs and thousands of volunteers in the U.S. and Canada,” said Sarah Chase, president of the Rotary Club of the AuSable Valley. “There is something powerful in knowing you are part of such a large cleanup, while still making a difference in the aesthetics and health of the watershed right in your own backyard.”

Several local municipalities, with support from Rotary, the AuSable River Association and One Tree Planted, will provide supplies, gloves and safety gear for those who need them. Rotary Club of the AuSable Valley will provide lunch for all volunteers at the end of the cleanup.

The cleanup is also intended to engage the community in protecting and restoring the AuSable River and its watershed. The AuSable River Association says the river faces many challenges, including climate change, road salt pollution, invasive species, undersized culverts and bank erosion. Cleanup participants will be improving the health of the river, allowing it to better manage and survive these challenges.

“The beauty and recreation offered by the watershed we live in can only be sustained if we keep the river clean and healthy,” said Chase. “Rotary Club of AuSable Valley has worked with AsRA in the past to help eradicate invasive species, and we look forward to a continued partnership in protecting our environment and the community that depends on it.”

The cleanup will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will meet at the Wilmington Town Beach at Lake Everest. For more information visit the AuSable River Association website, https://www.AuSableriver.org/events/earth-month-AuSable-river-clean.

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