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Paddling the Potomac for a Good Cause

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By Cathy Carter

There will be plenty of people canoeing on the Potomac River today, but as Cathy Carter reports, some paddler's have more than recreation in mind.

Volunteers have gathered at Fletchers Boathouse in the district for a river cleanup sponsored by the D.C. chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Coordinator Cheryl Norcross is passing out gloves and giving instructions.

"So you just want to get into the river and paddle up and you should start seeing the trash all along the shoreline, both shorelines," Norcross directs.

Once in the water, it isn't long before volunteers encounter what Surfrider's Julie Lawson says is one of the main culprits of pollution:

"Plastic," Lawson says. "Plastic doesn't break down, or it does break down but only into smaller and smaller pieces nothing can digest it so it never goes away. Virtually every piece of plastic that's been created since the fifties still exists."

The group says approximately 100 trash containers worth of plastic bottles and bags will be retrieved from the river and it's banks today.

The clean-ups are hosted once a month at both the Potomac and Anacostia rivers.


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