Two new boats to clean up floating trash in Lake Erie, Cuyahoga River

CLEVELAND - Two custom-made boats will lead the flight against flotsam and jetsam in the Cuyahoga River and the Lake Erie shoreline, and ironically, the boats are named Flotsam and Jetsam.

The Port of Cleveland commissioned the pair and their crews during a ceremony at North Coast Harbor on Wednesday. The vessels were paid for using a $425,160 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Flotsam and Jetsam will make a visible and vital impact on our waterways and community," said port chair Bob Smith, in a news release. "They also fit with our strategic role as a steward of two vital civic assets - our ship channel and the downtown lakeshore."

The specially-designed boats were made to handle the twists and turns of the Cuyahoga River. The boats work as a pair, but have separate purposed. Flotsam skims up debris and puts it into Jetsam.

The Port of Cleveland said the boats could remove enough trash to fill dozens of dump trucks each year.

"These boats send a signal to residents and visitors that we are working to help keep our river and lakefront clear and clean of garbage and other floating debris," said Port President and CEO Will Friedman.

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