By Risa Shimoda

By offering his opinion that trash on his nearby Presumpscot River comes from “careless people who think that the world is their trash can,” Jordan Voisine, a seventh grader from Portland, Maine has won an Old Town Kayak and Extrasport paddle.

Other selected winners of the “Where Does the Trash Come From?” student competition and National River Cleanup Week 2005(r) Photo and Publicity Contests for organizers will receive Wilderness Systems kayaks and other prizes provided by this year’s sponsors. Click to see the rest of the winning drawings, photos, and essays.

This year 40,582 volunteers covered 9,223 river miles during the 324 river cleanups conducted from May 14 – 22.

“The students expressed fundamental concerns that we hope they’ll think about in their day to day lives,” said David Brown, Board Chair for National River Cleanup Week. “In addition, we are thrilled to able to recognize the winners with many fine products.” Additional support for the event has been provided by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and US Forest Service.

This year’s competition has sparked support from teachers who organized cleanups. “I applaud you for your efforts in helping organize river cleanups and giving students the opportunity to participate in a nation-wide effort,” wrote David Rigby, seventh-grade science teacher in Johnsburg, Illinois, whose student Courtney Kramer took second place with her essay ‘Nurture Nature.”

Cleanup organizers also won prizes for the accompanying publicity contest, which rewarded those who were able to generate the most and best local publicity for their efforts, thus bringing more attention to the cause.

National River Cleanup Week is a 501 (c) 3 organization that coordinates and promotes North America’s only annual national river cleanup effort. The mission of National River Cleanup Week is to raise public awareness of the magnitude of trash accumulating in our nation’s waterways and to promote citizen actions against illegal dumping. Since 1992, over a half million National River Cleanup Week volunteers have collected trash from over 95,218 miles during 4,623 cleanups. For more information on National River Cleanup Week or the “Where Does the Trash Come From?” competition, contact