BOSTON (WHDH) - People from over three dozen Massachusetts towns pitched in to clean up the Charles River for the 20th annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup.

Volunteers with trash bags and pool skimmers lined the Esplanade to take part in the largest one-day river cleanup in the country.

“Hopefully this will also serve as a reminder to folks to pick up after yourselves,” said Emily Norton, of the Charles River Watershed Association.

The association sponsors the annual event.

“When you throw something out of your car when you just leave something on a park bench, it doesn’t just stay there and there is no magical elf that comes and cleans it all up,” Norton said.

Many consider it a chance to spruce up the centerpiece of the city.

“We have 3 million people who visit the Esplanade each year,” Executive Director of the Esplanade Association Michael Nichols said. “So it’s one of the core places that people in Downtown Boston can come and relax, enjoy nature, and we want to make sure it is as clean as possible.”

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