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D.C. Is Offering Free Canoes If You Use ‘Em To Pick Up Trash on the Anacostia

From now until the end of summer, if you’re in the Washington, D.C. area and want to canoe down the Anacostia River, you can book a free canoe from the city provided you adhere to one rule: You must use it to collect litter.

The languid, shallow Anacostia has long been known as a polluted and trash-strewn river, though it can be quite picturesque, but in recent years a big effort to clean it up has been underway. Part of that is now this new Green Boats initiative inspired by a similar program in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Boaters can book a canoe every Saturday through August. They get a receptacle for litter and a little picker to fish it out of the water. When they return, they are asked to help sort the garbage so the city knows which kind of trash is most prevalent.

The aim isn’t merely to clean the river, but to get more people out there, boating, learning about the river, and growing an affinity for it, to look after the place. The Green Boats program, if all goes well, will be expanded into a fleet of free rental boats for everyone, all the time. A library, but for canoes.

More at: DCist.

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