ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury residents are being invited to help clean a waterway that starts in their own backyard: The Musconetcong River.

Sponsored by the Warren County-based Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA), the 26th Annual Musconetcong River Clean-Up is scheduled for April 14, said MWA Communications Coordinator Karen Doerfer in a statement.

This year is special, because it’s the 50th anniversary of the National Park Service Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. To honor that landmark, the MWA joined a nationwide river protection effort called the American Rivers Cleanup, according to Doerfer. American Rivers’ National River Cleanup is a series of community-based river and stream cleanups taking place across the country.

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 “This popular annual event raises public awareness about the need for healthy rivers and is a great opportunity for civic engagement,” Doerfer said. “MWA will be participating along with tens of thousands of volunteers taking part in hundreds of cleanups across the country to remove trash from local waterways.”

The Musconetcong is a federally protected river that begins in Landing, flowing out of Lake Hopatcong along the Hopatcong and Byram border and into Lake Musconetcong. About 46 miles later, it empties into the Delaware River.

The April river cleanup will take place at sites all along the Musconetcong from 9 a.m. to noon. “MWA will provide trash bags, gloves, water, snacks and a commemorative T-shirt,” Doerfer said. “Afterward, MWA will be hosting a barbeque at the River Resource Center in Asbury (Warren County).”

To learn more and get involved, write to ambassador@musconetcong.org or call (908) 537-7060.

“MWA is dedicated to protecting the Musconetcong River because a healthy community starts with a healthy river,” said MWA Executive Director Alan Hunt in a statement. “Clean and healthy rivers provide everything from clean drinking water to recreation opportunities to fish and wildlife habitat.”

He said the association “is committed to keeping the Musconetcong clean so we can protect and restore it for us – and future generations,” and he noted that “participating in a river cleanup is one way that citizens can do their part for the river we all love.”

American Rivers President Bob Irvin thanked the MWA for joining the nationwide effort.

“Rivers connect us to each other, to nature, and to future generations,” he said. “It is wonderful to see so many in the Musconetcong River Watershed and across the country taking action to protect and restore their rivers and clean water. We applaud the MWA for the work they do on behalf of the river and the community.”

For more information on the Wild & Scenic Rivers 50th Anniversary, visit https://www.rivers.gov/wsr50/index.php.

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 (Public Law 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.) to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.