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Thousands of people are expected to participate in the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup this weekend. The 24th annual event coincides with the region's Litter Enforcement Month.
All month, the Maryland-National Capital Park police are stepping up enforcement of litter and illegal dumping laws. Violations in park areas can lead to a $100 fine, but violators may also be subject to state laws, which carry much stiffer penalties of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000, depending on the amount of litter dumped.
Saturday's river cleanup is coordinated by the Maryland-based Alice Ferguson Foundation and includes more than 300 different sites.
Last year, volunteers removed more than 450,000 pounds of trash during the cleanup. That included more than 26,000 plastic bags, 29,000 cigarette butts and 2,000 tires.