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Cleanups held because local waterways need our help

Keep Liberty Beautiful

POSTED: October 8, 2012 4:00 p.m.
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Volunteers pose for a photo after a recent beach-cleanup effort.

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Our local waterways need you. You see, we are the ones who make these waterways — big and small — dirty. Unfortunately, the biggest threat to our rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands is us and the litter and debris that we generate every day. There are many things we can do to prevent water pollution in Liberty County, and one such opportunity is just around the corner. By participating in Keep Liberty Beautiful’s seventh annual Rivers Alive cleanups on Saturday, Oct. 27, we can all fight litter before it gets too far downstream.

Rivers Alive is a statewide effort to preserve and protect Georgia waterways. This yearly campaign also is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s international efforts. In Liberty County, we hold our main Rivers Alive cleanup day on national Make a Difference Day. Rivers Alive in Liberty County is a registered event for this major volunteer drive around our country.

USA Weekend Magazine created Make a Difference Day, which is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of October. Each year, about 3 million people care enough about their communities to volunteer on that day and tackle thousands of needed projects.

We at Keep Liberty Beautiful are proud to participate on this volunteer day because we know how special volunteers are and what an incredible impact they can have on a community. The health of our waterways depends on us. At Rivers Alive, we can make a difference as volunteers by stopping litter in its tracks at more than 30 locations in our county.

Believe it or not, trash that begins its life as litter blown out of a truck bed in Gum Branch eventually can end up in the Atlantic Ocean! Since more litter and debris accumulate in higher-population areas, such as our “urbanized” hub of Hinesville, Allenhurst, Walthourville and Flemington, cleanups in these areas are crucial when it comes to keeping our waterways clean. Litter anywhere in our county threatens the waters throughout our community.

As a coastal county, we have to look for ways to protect our waterways. It is something we all can —and should — do. All of us — including our local government officials, business owners, community leaders and neighbors — need to be involved. It is everyone’s responsibility. I don’t know about you, but I am really not interested in swimming, boating and playing in water that is polluted. I also don’t want to drink it. I doubt you do, either.

Our goal is to sign up more than 500 volunteers this year. We already have a number of groups registered, but we still need you. Just by donating a few hours of your time on a Saturday, you can make a difference where you live. Rivers Alive also is a powerful symbolic gesture throughout the state. The estimated 30,000 volunteers who participate this year will send a clear message that we do care about our waters and that we can all do something to protect them.

Did I mention that these cleanups actually are a lot of fun, too? Thanks to our sponsors, we will have official Rivers Alive T-shirts and other items for our hardworking volunteers. SNF Chemtall always provides a fabulous cookout for helpers at Riceboro Creek Park on Highway 17 South after the cleanups. Honestly, I had volunteers last year tell me that they would pick up trash every day for a lunch like that. We really appreciate Chemtall’s support, because these cleanups would not be possible without them.

So, what are you waiting for? Call KLB at 880-4888 or email klcb@coastalnow.net. Plan now to make a difference at Rivers Alive.

 

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