MIDDLETOWN — Members of the Connecticut River Conservancy were assisted by Goodwin College staff during its recent clean-up of an abandoned fuel tank along the banks of the Connecticut River in East Hartford.

The 12-foot-by-3-foot tank was full of sediment, making it extremely heavy, according to a press release.

“Goodwin College was developing a riverfront path near where the tank was washed up. With no hesitation, they had their contractor, JM Ladd Construction, cut it open and haul it away while finishing the walking path in late November,” according to the CRC.

“We’re thrilled to finally see this large tank cleaned up. It was a hazard both to the environment and to the safety of river users,” CRC River Steward Kelsey Wentling said in a prepared statement.

Particular recognition goes to Bryant Harrell Sr. and Bryant Harrell Jr. at Goodwin College and JM Ladd Construction. CRC had been working for years, as part of their annual Source to Sea River Cleanup, to find help in cleaning up this large piece of trash, Wentling said.

“Unfortunately, there’s more to do,” she added.

The organization needs help to remove a number of other large items clogging and polluting rivers in Connecticut. A collapsed oil off-load platform in Hartford is becoming increasingly unstable, with untold impacts on the river if it becomes dislodged, the release said.

Additionally, an abandoned fiberglass boat is stuck on the banks of the river, creating another recreational nuisance and environmental risk.

Anyone who can help assess and remove these large river hazards is encouraged to contact the Connecticut River Conservancy at www.ctriver.org.

The annual Source to Sea Cleanup is a two-day river cleanup coordinated by CRC in all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin (New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut), according to the agency. Each fall, thousands of volunteers clean the Connecticut River and its tributaries on foot or by boat. Volunteers remove trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails, and more.

This annual event, now in its 23rd year, has grown into one of the largest river cleanups in the country. This year, over 3,600 volunteers removed nearly 67 tons of trash from in and near our rivers. The Source to Sea Cleanup included nearly 40 groups from the Connecticut region, including local river and conservation groups; elementary, high school, and college students; Girl and Boy Scouts; and many employee volunteer groups from local businesses, the release said.

“Source to Sea Cleanup volunteers’ hard work and dedication is inspiring and makes a real difference for our rivers,” Wentling said in the release. “But our work isn’t done until we put ourselves out of the river clean-up business.”

While the two-day cleanup event is over for this year, CRC continues to work on trash pollution year-round. To get involved, visit ctriver.org/takeaction.

Connecticut Media Group