Passiac River skimmer boat sails the river clearing out debris

The Passaic River skimmer drives up and down

The Passaic River skimmer drives up and down the river cleaning up debris.

NORTH ARLINGTON - The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission is working to improve the Passaic River.

One way the commission is doing this is by utilizing a boat known as a "skimmer." For 10 months out of the year, rain or shine, the skimmer is out on the river picking up any floating debris.

Most of the debris is man-made, such as bottles, cans and even a mop.

Larger items, like branches, are chopped up first.  All this is done to clear up the river.

Brian Davenport, the river restoration manager, hopes in addition to cleaning up the river, people can also learn to be a little more conscious of the environment.

"If we can educate people to get them to stop throwing stuff on the street and putting their garbage where it belongs, the river will be that much cleaner and the river will come back faster," he says.

Since the skimmer was bought back in 1998, it has skimmed over 2,000 tons of debris.

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