Volunteers and stream cleanup organizers from across the state met in Atlanta April 23 to celebrate the accomplishments of the state’s largest volunteer cleanup program, Rivers Alive, and to honor the efforts of those who are working to improve Georgia’s waterways, one trash bag at a time. Volunteers wade into rivers, lakes and coastal waters each year as part of the continuing statewide campaign to preserve the more than 70,000 miles of Georgia waterways.
During the 2018 cleanup year, 23,701 volunteers cleaned nearly 1,170 miles of waterways, removing
495,795 pounds of trash and recyclables. Everything from cigarette butts and plastic bottles to car parts and toilets were hauled out of Georgia’s waterways.
Rivers Alive is a program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division (EPD). “For the past 20 years volunteers, organizers and community partners from all corners of the state have made a positive impact cleaning and protecting Georgia’s waterways,” said EPD Director Richard Dunn. “Your efforts help spread awareness and initiate action to protect local environments. Thank you to everyone for your hard work and loyal stewardship.”
The Rivers Alive awards ceremony, held at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park, recognized volunteer groups, as well as individuals and businesses for their cleanup efforts.
Keep Liberty Beautiful was presented the Coastal Cleanup Award. KLB had 56 cleanups throughout Liberty County, with a total of: 707 volunteers, 2,427 volunteer hours, 15,751 pounds of debris, and 582 trash bags, according to KLB executive director Karen Bell.
Other awards and winners include:
Organizer of the Year – Chris Thompson of the Yellow River Water Trail
Adopt-A-Stream – Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful
Georgia School – Tritt Elementary
4-H – Chattooga County 4-H
Scout – Boy Scout Troop 413
Government Partner – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers J. Strom Thurmond Project
Spark of Energy – Georgia Power Company North GA
Keep Georgia Beautiful – Keep Conyers-Rockdale Beautiful
Nonprofit Organization – Tucker Civic Association
Business Organization of the Year Award – The MillerCoors Albany Brewery
Georgia Club – Oglethorpe Power and Affiliates
The 2018 Rivers Alive Sponsors Include: Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power, Golder Associates, Southwire Company, Perdue, Jones Day, Alston & Bird LLP, Burns & McDonnell, Brown and Caldwell, Dalton Utilities, Engineering 303 LLC, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, ESG Operations Inc., Eversheds Sutherland, Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association, Geosyntec, Goodwyn Mills & Cawood Inc., MEAG Power, NewFields, Shaw Industries Group, and Springer Mountain Farms. The generous funding provided by these sponsors allowed Rivers Alive to produce and distribute T-shirts and banners to the volunteers, as well as cleanup materials like trash bags and data collection forms to the event organizers.
Rivers Alive targets cleanups across all waterways in the State of Georgia including rivers, lakes, and
coastal waters. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. To volunteer or participate in a local cleanup effort or to obtain more information about the statewide campaign, call 404-651-8514 or go to www.riversalive.georgia.gov.