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News Nearby: Ohio River Clean Up Nets Lots of Trash

A team of volunteers with Paddle Without Pollution pull out tires, metal, car parts and other junk Saturday from the Ohio River.

The weather didn't seem like it would cooperate, but the rain held off on Saturday for Paddle Without Pollution's latest volunteer day.

Melissa Rohm, who started the effort last year with her husband David Rohm, said about 30 volunteers originally signed up, but the overnight rain might have scared some of them off.

"The water is so high today. Some of the stuff we wanted to get is already submerged or floating down river," Rohm said.

Still, that didn't stop a handful of volunteers from plugging forward, heading out from a boat launch in Glenfield, to clean up trash from the shorelines of the Ohio River. The team worked through the morning and into the afternoon, lugging piles of trash back to shore using kayaks and canoes. And there was plenty of junk.

From old tires and styrofoam to car parts, a patio umbrella and rusted metal, the trash continued to mount. This was the group's first Neville Island/Sewickley Ohio River clean up.

Francis McTiernan, 53, of Upper Saint Clair, said he bought a kayak last year and wanted to come help when he learned of the group.

The Rohm's started Paddle Without Pollution last year after the couple grew tired of seeing garbage strewn about the rivers.

For John Reiss, 46, of Crafton, this was the third clean up for he and his girlfriend, Peggy Willard who uses a kayak. Reiss, who uses a canoe, said the trash pickups allow him to enjoy the waterways and give back to them at the same time.  

"We always look at the garbage and just kind of shake our heads. As a group, instead of just shaking our heads, we can all pick up and make a difference," he said.

Visit paddlewithoutpollution.com for more information. Click through the photo gallery for more.

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