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Head of the Schuylkill Regatta & Philadelphia Water Partner to Keep the River Clean!

by Sarah Marshall, smarshall@usrowing.org | Oct 23, 2015
Philadelphia Water has officially partnered with the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta and will give away more than 12,000 high-quality, reusable water bottles during this weekend’s racing in an effort to eliminate plastic water bottles from the river.

On the eve of the biggest regatta in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter, members of the Schuylkill Navy and a crowd of excited fourth graders from FS Edmounds Elementary School gathered for the announcement of the newest partnership in the city of brotherly love.

Philadelphia Water has officially partnered with the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta andthumb_DSC_4433_1024 will give away more than 12,000 high-quality, reusable water bottles during this weekend’s racing in an effort to eliminate plastic water bottles from the river.

With more than 8,000 athletes in attendance and more than 30,000 spectators expected to this weekend’s festivities – rowing enthusiasts should be on the look-out for the free water bottles as well as the water tanks which will be situated throughout Kelly drive for easy access to refill one’s bottle with Philadelphia’s finest.

“Philadelphia’s tap water is some of the finest tap water anywhere in the nation,” saidDSC_4448 Mayor Nutter. “I am proud to announce that the city will provide these amenities for our citizens and visitors. Kelly Drive and the entire Fairmount Park trail network is a green oasis in the urban jungle of our city-it is a refuge for recreation and relaxation. These new water kiosks will encourage even more people to get outside and utilize the park, leading to healthier lifestyles for families across Philadelphia.” 

Also announced on Friday afternoon, was the plan to install a new network of permanentwater bottle filing stations that will stretch along Kelly Drive from East Falls to Boathouse Row. These specifically designed, highly visible stations will include traditional drinking fountains and a ground-level water bowl for four-legged companions.

The city plans to have four installed by the spring with more kiosks being planned for the Center City and Fairmont Park regions. 

By working with the HOSR, Philadelphia Water puts a spotlight on the city’s top-quality, affordable drinking water and discourages the use of disposable water bottles, a major source of litter in the river. 

Recent data collected by Philadelphia Water during the removal of litter from the Schuylkill River showed that more than 55% of the trash was plastic, and the overwhelming majority of that plastic, 77%, was plastic bottles. 

Two litter skimming boats have made over 1,000 trash collection trips since 2009, collecting 170 tons of litter, over half of which was plastic.

In a recent cleanup organized by the Schuylkill Navy in the spring of 2015, DSC_4434collected over 4,000 plastic bottles in just a quarter mile stretch of the river. In response, the Schuylkill Navy asked all clubs to eliminate single-use water bottles by rowers, which was overwhelmingly adopted by all on Boathouse Row.

“The rowing community hopes to partner with all stakeholders, community groups, non-profits and for profit organizations and all Philadelphians to eliminate litter from our parks, rivers and neighborhoods,” said chair of the Schuylkill Navy Stewards Committee Alan Robinson. “This is a good beginning.” 

The 2015 Head of the Schuylkill Regatta will kick-off on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the men’s championship pair. Other exciting events for Saturday include the Gold Cup Challenge, for more information click here

For an album of the event, click here
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