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New Canaan Students Clean Up Banks Of Norwalk River

New Canaan students clean up the Norwalk River banks outside the Maritime Aquarium. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
New Canaan students collected trash on the rocks using sticks and grabbers. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Students pick up litter next to the Maritime Aquarium. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. -- New Canaan High School junior Paul Gelhaus felt a responsibility to keep the banks of the Norwalk River clean, so he gathered some fellow students and Maritime Aquarium staff to spend their Saturday picking up litter near the edge of the water.

Gelhaus rows for the New Canaan High School crew team, which is part of the Maritime Rowing Club located across the river from the Maritime Aquarium.

He said that he wanted to do something about litter that gets tossed into the water and washes up on shore.

"As we row by we see all the trash that collects, so I thought since we use the river all the time, why not give back?" Gelhaus said.

He recruited fellow rowers and some members of the New Canaan High School Eco Club and reached out to the Maritime Aquarium to help. They spent a couple hours Saturday afternoon with gloves and trash-picking sticks cleaning up the banks outside the aquarium's IMAX Theater.

Maritime Aquarium Publicist Dave Sigworth said that after Gelhaus reached out them, they were happy to pitch in and provide the trash bags and other supplies.

"We do try to keep the shoreline clean," Sigworth said. "It's a tidal river, so twice a day stuff gets dropped on the rocks out here, so it can be difficult for us to keep up. It's always nice to have some help."

Gelhaus said he thinks it's important for students to give back and make sure the planet is kept clean.

"We have the opportunity and it teaches us to take care of the environment, since we're going to be left with it pretty soon," he said.

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