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Cleaning up the Charles

By Mike Gleason - Wicked Local

January 01, 2020

In his about 15 years as a captain for the Charles River Cleanup Boat, Robert Gaffney - a longtime Sharon schoolteacher - has seen some odd things taken out of the water.

How One Man Changed Charles River for the Better

By Madeleine Somerville - Earth911

February 19, 2018

Floating Barbie dolls, a dead mouse wrapped in cloth, and a human leg — these are just a few of the more remarkable items that have been fished out of the Charles River over the past 15 years. More remarkable, however, is the story of how they came to be fished out in the first place...

By Lisa Hughes - CBS Boston

July 05, 2017

Boston’s spectacular fireworks show featured big fun and big crowds, but what the crowd leaves behind has to be picked up, on land and in the water. It’s a simple yet difficult goal: keep the Charles free of trash. That a job makes it July 5 of the busiest days of the year for the Charles River Clean Up Boat. “We’re on...

By Jenna Fisher - The Christian Science Monitor

November 01, 2013

Tom McNichol has fished a lot of strange things out of Boston's Charles River. Among the most unexpected are a portable toilet, a recliner, and a dead body. It's been 10 years since he had to call the police about the body. In the intervening years he...

By Peter DeMarco - The Boston Globe

August 20, 2013

As Tom McNichol pilots his motor boat past Soldiers Field Road, Harvard, and MIT, you wonder whether he’s full of it. The Charles River, he’d boasted before the trip, is always a mess after the annual July Fourth fireworks spectacular. “I guarantee trash,” he’d proclaimed. But the river looks clean...

By Chris Bergeron - The Metro West Daily News

June 17, 2013

Like a pair of gondoliers, Rori Greene and Roman DePaz stood on the prow of an aluminum boat cruising up the Charles River, using modified pool skimmers to scoop up trash. Like a pair of gondoliers, Rori Greene and Roman DePaz stood on the prow of...

By Kerri Roche - Daily News Tribune

May 07, 2008

Going into his fifth season of patrolling Boston’s famous river, Tom McNichol, 70, was fed up with the trash in the river. As a result, he started the nonprofit Charles River Clean Up Boat, bringing volunteers out four days a week to skim, scoop and stab the...

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