2008 Operation River Bright Attacks River Blight

Forty-five volunteers pitched in on a hot and humid day to remove over a ton of trash from the Delaware River during Operation River Bright, which was held Saturday, June 28 and covered a 6-mile stretch of the river between Easton/Phillipsburg, NJ and Raubsville, PA.

Unfortunately, this stretch of the river receives a steady supply of trash and litter of every imaginable type from local residents who frequent favorite fishing spots, as well as in-flow from the Lehigh River and upstream urban areas.

Cleanup participants used canoes and kayaks to transport the trash to the Delaware Canal State Park Locks 22-23. A baby stroller, rugs, mattresses, tires, a lawnmower and bicycle, and thousands of unsightly plastic beverage containers, tarps and bags were removed from the river banks and islands.

Operation River Bright is an American Canoe Association sanctioned event sponsored by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership and the Lower Delaware Wild & Scenic River Management Committee. Participating organizations included the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Delaware Canal State Park), National Canoe Safety Patrol – Lower Delaware Chapter, and the Delaware Valley Division of the American Canoe Association. Lazy River Adventures of Phillipsburg provided canoes for the NJ Youth Corps volunteers, and ShopRite of Flemington generously donated supplies including trash bags, gloves, water and snacks.

A special thanks to the National Canoe Safety Patrol - Lower Delaware Chapter for providing a safer and more efficient day on the water, and for shepherding and mentoring the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg. And kudos to the New Jersey Youth Corps whose members worked hard, learned something about the river, and made their own community a better place.

A special thanks to Eric Sween, Sharon Maclean and Greg Rackin for providing valuable ground support for the river travelers, and all the members of various canoe clubs who helped out on the water.

John Brunner