By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Healthy waterways make health communities
Keep Liberty Beautiful
Testing: Bradwell Institute Science Club students administer water testing at Dickinson Creek during the 2006 Rivers Alive event. - photo by Photo by Sara Swida
A community can only be as healthy as its waters. That is why volunteer cleanups, such as the upcoming Rivers Alive events are so significant.
As a coastal county, we have to look for ways to protect our waterways. It is something we can - and should — all do, including our local gover —ments, businesses, business leaders, neighborhoods and each of us as individuals. It is everyone’s responsibility. Water is life.  
We have been fortunate to have had significant rainfall in the past few weeks, unlike other parts of Georgia that are really hurting from the drought. But rain also washes all the litter and other debris that is tossed, blown, spilled, leaked and even dumped along our roadways into local storm-water sewers in town and even directly into creeks and streams. This non-point source solution is the greatest cause of water pollution. So it is essential to cleanup, and remove litter and debris before it ends up in our waters.
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 or pay the significant added expenses necessary for treating polluted water so it is drinkable. I doubt you do either. So consider volunteering Oct. 20 at any of the seven Rivers Alive locations throughout Liberty County.
Sometimes people are surprised when I mention that in addition to cleanups at the Riceboro Creek community area and the South Newport River boat ramp, we are also having cleanups in Hinesville, Flemington, Walthourville and, hopefully, Allenhurst. We have even partnered with Long County to have a cleanup there on Oct. 27. Our hope is to prevent litter that has accumulated in creeks and streams, such as Peacock Canal and the Riceboro Creek tributary in town, from making its way to our larger waterways in the east end of the county and, ultimately, the ocean.
More litter and debris accumulates in higher population areas, such as our local “urbanized” area. These cleanups are just as crucial as cleaning areas along the river.
Thanks to all the folks who have already registered to volunteer, but we still need more helpers. In just a few hours Saturday, you can make a difference where you live.
Rivers Alive is also a powerful symbolic gesture throughout the state. The 30,000 volunteers who participate this year will be making it clear we do care about our waters and we can all do something to protect them.  
Did I also mention you can have fun too? Thanks to our sponsors, we try to make these cleanups enjoyable. Rivers Alive is sponsored statewide by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Keep Georgia Beautiful. We will have some really cute Rivers Alive T-shirts and other items for our hardworking volunteers.
Our local sponsors are the Coastal Courier that helps us get the word out, and SNF Chemtall that helps us with setup and a fabulous lunch after the cleanups. Truly, I had volunteers last year who told me they would pick up trash everyday for a lunch like that. We really appreciate these sponsors because these cleanups would not be possible without them. But we still need you.
Volunteer by contacting Keep Liberty County Beautiful at 368-4888 or
Make a difference where you live. Our waters need you.  

Key dates
• Oct. 20 at 8:45 a.m.: Rivers Alive Cleanups at several locations in Liberty County. On-foot volunteers, kayakers and small boats needed. Sponsored by SNF Chemtall and the Coastal Courier.
• Oct. 27 at 8:45 a.m.: Rivers Alive Cleanup in Long County. On-foot volunteers are needed to help with this cleanup.
To volunteer or for more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact me at 368-4888 or
Sign up for our e-newsletters