The first Renew Our Rivers cleanup of 2017 is Saturday, Feb. 18 at Swift Creek Landing in Autaugaville. Volunteers should report at the boat ramp at 9 a.m. and wear rubber boots, long pants, hats, insect repellent and sunscreen. T-shirts will be provided to all volunteers. Minors must have a chaperone to participate. The cleanup will end at noon.
This Renew Our Rivers cleanup is coordinated by Autauga County PALS, Army Corps of Engineers, the town of Autaugaville, Autauga County Rescue Squad, Autauga County Litter Crew, Autauga County Commission, Advanced Disposal Systems and Alabama Power. Directions: travel to Autaugaville on Highway 14. Turn south on County Road 21 S. Go to the Swift Creek boat ramp. The volunteer contact is John-Paul O’Driscoll at 334-358-6749.
Renew Our Rivers is entering its 18th year, with 31 cleanups planned through November on the Alabama, Black Warrior, Cahaba, Chattahoochee, Coosa, Mobile and Tallapoosa rivers. Since the program started in 2000, about 100,000 volunteers have collected over 14 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast.
In 2016 alone, 3,652 volunteers removed more than 346,700 pounds of trash from Alabama lakes, rivers and shorelines.
“Every year, people committed to preserving the environment and improving their communities work together to make the Renew Our Rivers program better than the previous year,” said Susan Comensky, vice president of Environmental Affairs at Alabama Power. “Our lakes are getting cleaner each year because these volunteers are so dedicated to making a positive impact. Their commitment is contagious, and inspires even more people to get involved each year.”
Alabama Power employee volunteers assist at each cleanup, providing guidance and supplies to event organizers. Renew Our Rivers is just one of many initiatives in which Alabama Power partners with others to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in communities across the state.