CRANFORD, NJ - Aided by a passer-by who lent two kayaks to the effort, an ambitious group of Union County Adopt-a-Park volunteers recently spent several hours clearing away a logjam in the Rahway River at Nomahegan Park. The group bagged and removed trash and recyclables from the river and from the surrounding area as well.

Trash and recyclables collect in rivers and streams and often get hung up on tree branches, creating a logjam effect. Eventually, the debris finds its way to the ocean and contributes to the growing problem of ocean plastic pollution. Floating bags and other items create hazards for fish and other wildlife that mistake them for food.

To help cut down on plastic waste, residents can carry reusable water bottles, bring reusable bags when shopping, and keep up to date on rules for recycling. Residents can also help keep plastic and other debris out of waterways in Union County parks by depositing trash and litter in secure containers where it cannot be disturbed by wind or wildlife.

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The cleanup was organized by Union County Adopt-a-Park volunteer and Professor Daniela Shebitz of Kean University. Shebitz conducts conservation activities in Union County parks through the Adopt-A-Park program.

After spotting the logjam, the professor contacted the Adopt-a-Park program and organized a group of volunteers. Adopt-a-Park provided the group with gloves and other supplies.

Any individual or group is welcome to join Adopt-a-Park. For more information contact the Adopt-a-Park coordinator at 908-789-3683 or visit