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2017 Season Plans

Rappahannock River

In 2017 our Sweepers will continue working Virginia’s rivers by addressing the upper Rappahannock in three counties: Rappahannock, Fauquier and Culpeper.  We will begin at Route 29/15 near Remington and continue to the confluence with the Rapidan.  In 2018 we will begin at the headwaters and work our way back down to Route 29/15.

We require river access from landowners to get on and off the water and to remove trash.  If you have land along the river and are able to offer access  please contact Debbie Manzari, Program Manager at 540-672-2542 or email at

We also need some additional financial support as we have a gap of about $9,000 we would like to cover.  We appreciate contributions of any amount which can be made via our secure website below.

Clinch River, Russell County, Virginia

We will expand our service area to Southwest Virginia and the Clinch River, home to Virginia’s newest designated State Park.

We’re Hiring – River Cleanup Project Manager

The Project Manager will be responsible for on-water management of seasonal staff to complete ecological assessment and cleanup of rivers as well as general project coordination: outreach to landowners for river access, report writing and training of seasonal staff.

Required Skills/Experience

  • Canoeing/Kayaking Skills
  • Planning and organization
  • Real-time problem solving
  • Wilderness First Aid and CPR
  • Knowledge of legal and risk management issues related to outdoor construction work on waterways
  • Strong leadership and supervision abilities
  • Management and team building
  • Effective communication
  • Detail oriented, creative, and flexible
  • Valid driver’s license with no negative incidents and experience driving a truck and hauling a trailer
  • Resource Management, Environmental Science, or Outdoor Education background experience
  • Presentation and Spreadsheet Software, Google Earth, GIS (preferred)
  • Must be 18 years of age and able to lift 50-80 pounds daily

Please send resumes to

We’ve reached our goal for Adopt A Pile of $10,000 – Thanks for your support!

Large Trash Sites 2016

large trash sites
Large Trash Sites 2016 – Hughes, Robinson and Rapidan Rivers

This summer we have uncovered over 25 sites with trash too large to be floated out on our canoes in the three rivers we cleaned (Hughes, Rapidan and Robinson Rivers). We are going to need to hire contractors with heavy equipment to remove these items. This additional expense was not included in our budget. Our Sweepers did a great job this summer and they really don’t like leaving anything behind.

Please consider a donation to fund the removal of these large items – culverts, extra heavy tires, diesel storage tank, dangerous metal objects and more.  We estimate the total cost to remove these items to be $20,000 with $10,000 of this amount provided through pro-bono (match) services by our contractors.

You can make a general donation, or you can “Adopt” a specific site by clicking and donating from that image or by using the secure donation link below.  Some of this stuff has been in our rivers for decades, rusting, and leaking oil and other substances. It’s time to get it out. Thanks for making our rivers safe for our friends, family members, visitors, and of course wildlife.

Hughes River Sites

Bed Frame – $1000 Removal Fee

Bed frame

Large Pile of Rusted Metal -$1000 Removal Fee

pile of metal item 18

Robinson River Sites

850 Pound Tire – $1000 Removal Fee

Robinson River 850 pound tire

Large Metal Object – $2000 Removal Fee

large metal round item 16

Large Pile of Heavy Metal Fencing – $2000 Removal Fee


Storage Tank – $2000 Removal Fee


Extra Heavy Wood Fence with Metal Hinges – $2000 Removal Fee


5 Locations of Rusted Metal Culverts – $2000 Removal Fee

Rusted Metal Culverts

Diesel Storage Tank – $2000 Removal Fee

diesel storage tank

Large Appliance – $1000 Removal Fee

large appliance

 Rapidan River Sites

900 Pound Tire – $1000 Removal Fee

 900 pound tire

Extra Large Culvert – $2000 Removal Fee

extra large culver

Metal I Beams – $1000 Removal Fee

Metal I Beams

Orange County Review Publishes Article About River Dumping

2016 StreamSweepers on Robinson River – Zach Ray, Emily Dieckhoff, Taylor Dawson and Austin Garr (left to right)

Last week, the Orange County Review covered StreamSweeper’s 2016 season and the continued dumping into our rivers. The article focused on dumping of tires and household junk (mattresses, dresser, television, etc.) since the river was cleaned just 2 years ago.  The article also highlighted the remaining trash sites too large to be floated out with canoes.  To learn more about our efforts to remove these large trash sites, click here.

New Addition to StreamSweeper Fleet

Joe Pipik Cuyahoga Canoe Donation
Joe Pipik (right) Donates Canoe “Cuyahoga” to Expand StreamSweeper Fleet

Our fleet has expanded by one boat, thanks to the generosity of Joe Pipik.  Soon this newly donated boat will have the StreamSweeper logo stenciled on it along with it’s name “Cuyahoga”, in honor of Joe and the river he’s spent time canoeing on.  Many thanks Joe, we will put this boat to good use and think of you as we go about our work!

Return to the Hughes River Next Week

We have a great crew this summer. After spending a very long week learning all the science (social and physical) behind the StreamSweepers program, caring for each in other in mock first aid scenarios during Wilderness First Aid training, and learning how to identify macro invertebrates, invasive plant species and dangerous river hazards they began work on the Hughes River. The first time river health assessment and cleaning of this beautiful river has been completed from Route 231 to Reva Road.

We opted to float as much of the river as possible before the mid-summer low water level set in so we began mid-river. We spent a few days dragging boats and walking with some intermittent floating and were encouraged by the support of riverside landowners and the beauty and solitude of the Hughes. We found about a dozen tires, tents, tarps, a cattle feed trough, a table top, some bottles and cans, metal signs, buckets, shopping basket, barbecue grate, floats, tarps, tent, chair, large plastic tub, a hose and other small items. Boaters should be alerted to the car embedded in the bank as it protrudes into the stream channel.

We will begin next Monday to assess and clean the upper stretch beginning just outside the park boundary. We will be alongside the road at several locations and invite you to stop by and say hello. When we’ve completed the assessment and cleanup on the Hughes we will move to the Robinson headwaters to provide a first time assessment down to Route 231.

For the past few weeks after finishing the lower portion of the Hughes we’ve been working on maintenance cleaning of the Rapidan and Robinson Rivers. We’re basically removing anything we may have previously missed and anything new that has appeared.

Enjoy some photos from the Hughes (any ideas whose paw print that is)?

Whose Paw Print?
Whose Paw Print?
Hughes River Cleanup
Hughes River Crew
Hughes River Solitude
Hughes River Solitude
Hughes River Embedded Car
Hughes River Embedded Car


Capitol Hill Visit

2016 StreamSweepers Meet with Staff of Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in DC
Senator Mark Warner StreamSweepers
Frank Balint (Center for Natural Capital Board Member), Emily Dieckhoff, Senator Mark Warner, Kira Lander, Betty Dixon (Center for Natural Capital Staff), Buzz VanSantvoord (Center for Natural Capital Staff), Taylor Dawson, Conner McGhee, Daniel Squietieri, Spencer Goodwin, Michael Collins (Center for Natural Capital Executive Director), Mac Klackle, Austin Garr, Debbie Manzari (Center for Natural Capital Staff), Brian Becker (Center for Natural Capital Staff) (left to right)

The 2016 crew had a great opportunity last month to visit with Senator Mark Warner and his staff as well as the staff of Senator Tim Kaine.  The Senators’ staff offered several ideas on how we can expand services throughout Virginia and into the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.  They are in agreement that there needs to be a public-private partnership to restore Virginia’s rivers and we look forward to working with them to increase the capacity of StreamSweepers to reach beyond the Piedmont.  It was a great day to be a StreamSweeper!



Restoring People and Nature, One River at a Time

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