More than 225 Volunteers Participate in Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway’s 22nd River Sweep

Jane Machin, Donna Nichols and Debbie McKeown, members of the Harbor of Grace Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, collect trash and debris on Revolution Street in Havre de Grace during River Sweep on April 23. More than 225 volunteers collected more than 10 tons of trash in Harford and Cecil counties during the annual event in honor of Earth Day.  (Photo Courtesy of Jane Machin)

Shoreline cleanup took place April 23 and removed more than 10 tons of trash, debris

More than 225 volunteers gathered in 10 locations in Cecil and Harford counties to remove more than 10 tons of trash and debris during Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway’s 22nd annual River Sweep on April 23.

This yearly volunteer shoreline clean-up was held in celebration of Earth Day in Havre de Grace, Conowingo, Perryville, Port Deposit, Charlestown and on Garrett Island.

Notable items found and removed during River Sweep include a full propane tank, oven door, boat drive shaft, boat cushions, 10-foot pole, large blocks of Styrofoam, traffic cone, bulk liquid storage container, vintage Coca Cola bottle and a wallet with several British pound notes and an Air Force ID (it was given to the police).

Since the founding of River Sweep in 2000, volunteers have collected more than 125 tons of trash and debris.

Among the participating groups were Amazon, Baltimore Walking Club, Boy Scouts, Constellation Power, Conowingo Elementary School Enviro Club and Green Team, Daughters of the American Revolution (Harbor of Grace Chapter), Girl Scouts, Havre de Grace Green Team, HdG Citizens Against Trash Club, Perryville Police Department Outreach Program, Royal Rangers and Verizon.

Charlestown expanded their cleanup this year, with 20 volunteers who worked at all its  waterfront parks: Long Point, Foot Log, Sandy Beach, Veteran’s Park and Avalon Park.

“We are so grateful for the incredible volunteer turnout at this year’s River Sweep. Their energy and enthusiasm were amazing. At the Perryville boat launch alone, our volunteers filled 100 trash bags and filled a truck with debris. It was remarkable to see the amount of trash and debris that were on our shoreline and in our waterways,” said Brigitte Carty, executive director of Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway. “We are also grateful for our hardworking coordinators and the many sponsors who helped to make the day a success.”

Sponsors of the 2022 River Sweep include Constellation, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Keep Maryland Beautiful, Maryland Environmental Trust, Forever-Maryland Foundation, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Department of Transportation. Community partners include Cecil County, Harford County, Havre de Grace, Perryville and Port Deposit.

In addition, partial financial assistance has been provided for this project through the Cecil County VLT Local Community Grant Program, sponsored by the Cecil County Executive. This project also has been financed in part with state funds from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland. However, project contents or opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is a nonprofit, certified Maryland Heritage Area located in Harford and Cecil counties along the Lower Susquehanna River and Upper Bay. Its mission is to encourage regional economic development through heritage tourism primarily by supporting public recreation efforts, particularly trail development and public water access, historic preservation, cultural interpretation and conservation efforts.  For more information about Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, visit

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