Cleanup Preview

There are many boats of different shapes and sizes that take part in the annual Allegheny River Clean-up.

This year’s event kicked off early with some organizers making sure one boat would not be in the water.

Three years ago, participants in the clean-up noticed a rope at the river’s edge several miles south of Irvine. They tried to remove it. It was securely fastened. One end of the rope was tied to a tree.

“We saw a rope going into the water,” John Beard said. “We went over there with a canoe and found out there was a boat under there.”

“We’ve been talking about this boat for two or three years,” Beard said.

But there was nothing volunteers in canoes could do about it. “…nothing we could do without a guy like Tim,” he said.

Tim Koebley of Koebley Towing offered to help out.

Nate Welker, David Snyder, and Paul Mead attached a cable from Koebley’s truck more accustomed to hauling stranded cars and trucks than sunken boats to a railing that was just below water.

Timothy Koebley, 8, operated the remote, hauling the bulk of what was left of the boat up the bank to the truck.

Welker, in scuba gear, continued diving, recovering numerous metal bars that had once been the frame of the boat. He handed each piece to Mead who subsequently passed the bars to Snyder and Todd Bowersox who hauled them up the bank and set them in a pile.

Koebley and Koebley used the truck’s winch to haul the heaviest pieces onto the flatbed and the volunteers moved the rest of the metal.

A total of 705 pounds of metal was brought up. That was sold as scrap and brought in $92.20 toward expenses, Beard said.

This year’s river clean-up will run from Sept. 7 through Sept. 14.

Those who would like to contribute but are unable to scour the waterways may bring scrap metal.

“We’re going to invite the public to contribute all their recyclable goods,” Beard said. “We’ll have two big scrap metal containers” at the northwest corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Market Street in Warren.

The group is not going to have a tire pile this year.

The organizers are also looking for some specialized equipment. “Anybody who has a jet boat is welcome to bring that out and participate,” Welker said.

The clean-up efforts already include the Allegheny River, Allegheny Reservoir, and Conewango Creek, but those in charge are not content.

“We’re looking for a group that would like to adopt the Brokenstraw (Creek),” Beard said.

Information about the river clean-up can be found by visiting