“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” — “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel T. Coleridge
Water does seem to be everywhere — even on Mars these days.
The important thing for us is maintaining the quality of water that is here so it is safe and healthy to use. Water is on our minds because our 10th annual Rivers Alive events are this month. Now, I know the idea of litter cleanups may not be everybody’s cup of tea — or should I say cup of water? — but if you like safe water to drink and unpolluted water in which to fish or swim, you might want to think about participating in our upcoming cleanups.
More than 40 percent of Liberty County is wetlands, marshes, creeks and larger ponds, lakes and rivers. Water is a critical issue for us, whether you live in the western part of Liberty or the east end on the coast. We cannot take any of the areas for granted. Trash that begins its life as litter in the west end of the county is just as devastating as trash tossed from a boat in the Intercoastal Waterway. Unfortunately, trash travels!
We have cleanups throughout the county because our community is full of wetlands, creeks and streams. It is important to stop litter before it makes its journey downstream. We like to catch litter where it happens before it ends up in deep rivers and the ocean, where litter retrieval becomes challenging. Litter anywhere in our county threatens the waters throughout our community.
So how water smart are you? Each week this month, I will test your water knowledge with a couple of questions from a handy little quiz from the Environmental Protection Agency:
1. What percentage of rivers and streams assessed in a recent national water-quality report scored a good rating, meaning the waters fully supported their designated uses — A) 10, B) 32, C) 65, or D) 93?
2. Watersheds are mainly in mountainous regions with high rainfall — true or false?
If these were easy for you, you should volunteer with Rivers Alive because you are water smart! If you are stumped by these easy questions, you need to volunteer for Rivers Alive, because you are taking water for granted! I will share the answers next week.
Rivers Alive is a statewide effort to preserve and protect our waterways in Georgia. Rivers Alive events are also part of the international efforts of The Ocean Conservancy. In Liberty County, we hold our main Rivers Alive cleanup day on National Make a Difference Day, which is Saturday, Oct. 24. Rivers Alive in Liberty County is a registered event for this national volunteer drive.
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 50 locations in our county this month. Last year, we had 619 water smart volunteers join in, and with your help, we can have that same impact again! We already have quite a number of groups registered, but we want you, too. In just a few hours of your time, you can make a powerful difference where you live.
Oh, don’t worry — we will make sure you are through before any big games come on television.
Thanks to our sponsor, SNF Chemtall, we try to make these cleanups enjoyable, too! We will have official Rivers Alive T-shirts for the first 500 volunteers registered, so contact us now! We also provide all the cleanup supplies for our hardworking volunteers. SNF Chemtall provides a fabulous cookout for volunteers at Riceboro Creek Park on Highway 17 South after the cleanups. We really appreciate Chemtall’s support because these cleanups at this level would not be possible without them.
So plan to make a difference and contact us at Keep Liberty Beautiful by calling 880-4888 or emailing email@example.com. If Oct. 24 does not work for you and your group, we can schedule a cleanup date that is best for you.
From Walthourville to the Atlantic Ocean, our waterways need you. Do not take clean water for granted — join us for Rivers Alive!