Elmira College Students Volunteer To Clean Area Riverways

Students in the EC Environmental Science Club volunteered during the fall of 2022 to get dirty as they picked up trash and debris found at regional boat launches. This is the second year the group participated in the cleanups, which are organized by the non-profit organization, Friends of the Chemung River Watershed (FCRW).

The student volunteers cleaned the river access sites at Wyncoop Creek Road near the Town of Chemung and Grove Street in Elmira. They also worked on sites in Steuben County, including the launch site in Bath and near the Bridge Street bridge in Corning.

“As a club, we feel as though it is our duty to extend our vision of a clean and healthy environment to the communities we are a part of,” said Bartolomeo “Joey” Salerno ’23, an Environmental Science major and President of the EC Environmental Club. “I love being able to be an active participant in the efforts of Chemung County and Elmira College’s solution to pollution, and I appreciate the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed for helping organize the event and supplying us with the equipment we needed to stay safe while participating in the clean-ups.”

“Getting outside and into our natural environment helps individuals to develop a love of these finite resources, creating a connection between the human condition and environmental condition,” said Emily Marino, Executive Director, Friends of the Chemung River Watershed. “Public health is environmental health, and I am inspired to see the next generation taking this seriously through advocacy, volunteerism, and education.”

Marino said the FCRW has year-round opportunities for volunteers to help with clean-up and environmental watchdog initiatives as well as internships for students to gain experience with environmental education, public engagement and communications, and fundraising.

“The assistance we receive from Elmira College students reminds us that the work we are doing towards watershed advocacy and education is critical to future generations,” said Marino. “We hope to continue to find opportunities to partner with EC students who are committed to environmental stewardship, promoting the benefits of outdoor recreation on health and wellness, and educating the public on the scientific facts around climate change.”

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