Capitol Hill rallies in support of Koch Industries-sponsored Capital River Relief

Bipartisan group of Hill staffers volunteer to clean up trash for a cleaner watershed...

Apr 15th, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC, April 7, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Showing their support for Capital River Relief 2005, Hill staffers "Team Up to Clean Up" on April 11 as participants in Capital River Relief's Capitol Hill Day.

Hill volunteers, who include representatives from the Office of Congressman Joe Wilson, Congressman Ed Case and the Sergeant of Arms, as well as many others, will be cleaning along the Anacostia River. This marks the second year that Capitol Hill has come out in support of Capital River Relief, which brings together a working coalition to clean and restore the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. In 2004, Capital River Relief removed nearly 50 tons of garbage from the rivers.

More than 800 volunteers are taking part in the three-week-long project, which kicked off on March 31 and will culminate on Earth Day, April 22. Capital River Relief was organized by founding sponsor, Koch Industries, Inc. The 2005 cleanup coalition includes the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, Alice Ferguson Foundation, Anacostia Watershed Society, Potomac Conservancy, and is led by national environmental entrepreneur Chad Pregracke, bringing his Living Lands & Waters cleanup crew from the Midwest.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert noted: "Capital River Relief is a great project, not only because of its contributions to the restoration and preservation of Washington's two most treasured natural resources, the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, but also because it encourages individual stewardship of our environment."

Capital River Relief teams have river access from Living Lands & Waters boats and a 140-foot trash barge, so they can reach areas not typically accessed by land-based cleanups. The boats are docked near the Belle Haven Marina, along the Alexandria, Va., Waterfront. Cleanup sites span from the Potomac near the Georgetown Waterfront shorelines at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia, and the banks of the Anacostia near the Washington Navy Yard.

"I commend Chad Pregracke, Koch Industries and the Capital River Relief team on the work they are doing to clean up DC's rivers," said House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo. "Capital River Relief is a wonderful example of how industry and community-based organizations can work together to improve our environment and preserve our natural resources."

Pregracke's organization has removed more than 900 tons of trash from America's rivers, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. Koch Industries took a lead role in funding the project and bringing Living Lands & Waters to the capital region.

Coalition members include Living Lands & Waters, Alexandria Seaport Foundation, Alice Ferguson Foundation, Anacostia Water-shed Society, Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Anacostia River Initiative, and Potomac Conservancy.

Sponsors include Koch Industries Inc., Pepco, Whole Foods, Mimi's American Bistro, Ritz Camera, Hunton & Williams LLP, Sempra Energy and Rosenthal Automotive.

Capital River Relief 2005 (www.capitalriverrelief.org) has sponsored 11 days of cleanups of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers: March 31, April 1, 2 (with Alice Ferguson Foundation), 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14 and 16 (with Anacostia Watershed Society). Cleanups will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.

The Alice Ferguson Foundation (www.fergusonfoundation.org) was established in 1954 to provide experiences that encourage connections between people, the natural environment, farming and the cultural heritage of the Potomac River Watershed, which lead to personal environmental responsibility.

The Anacostia Watershed Society (www.anacostiaws.org) is a non-profit environmental organization working to protect and restore the Anacostia River and its watershed. AWS seeks to fulfill its mandate of a swimmable and fishable river through its programs of education, action and advocacy.

Living Lands & Waters (www.livinglandsandwaters.org), established by Chad Pregracke in 1998, is headquartered in East Moline, Illinois. Living Lands & Waters programs include Community Cleanups, Big River Educational Workshops, Riverbottom Forest Restoration and Adopt-a-Mississippi Mile.

Koch Industries Inc. (www.kochind.com) owns a diverse group of companies with more than 30,000 employees engaged in trading, investment and operations worldwide. Koch Industries and its companies are involved in petroleum, resins and fibers, chemicals, natural gas liquids, chemical technology products, asphalt, minerals, fertilizers, ranching, pipelines, and securities and finance.

ALSO SEE: "Koch Industries sponsors DC watershed cleanup effort" (posted March 31).

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