Renew Our Rivers gears up for 2008

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Alabama Power launched its 2008 Renew Our Rivers cleanup efforts two weekends ago and will focus on revitalizing Lake Demopolis from April 24-26. According to Aimee Reynolds, one of the coordinators for the Demopolis area, workers in the Black Belt region will gather at Lake Demopolis from 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25. On Sunday, the volunteers will meet from 8 a.m.-noon.

The latest chapter of the initiative concentrated on the Tallapoosa River on its opening weekend and will welcome community volunteers to participate in 26 different waterway cleanups statewide until October.

As in previous years, the Demopolis area Renew Our Rivers will combine with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its National Public Lands Day campaign on April 25.

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The 2007 program saw 194 volunteers in the Demopolis area donate their time and energy to remove 75,613 pounds of garbage from Lake Demopolis. That effort was part of a movement that welcomed nearly 5,000 volunteers who collectively removed 704,000 pounds of debris from Alabama rivers.

Over the event&8217;s three years, 755 Black Belt area volunteers have worked to remove 216,000 pounds of trash from Lake Demopolis.

Last year&8217;s program saw workers from Alabama Power, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Demopolis, Cemex, the Boy Scouts and the Demopolis High School team with other community volunteers to help with the task.

Since its inception in 2000, the program has been successful in removing nearly 8.6 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeastern United States.

The program, originally known as Renew the Coosa, was started on Lake Neely Henry in Gadsden by an Alabama Power employee who began picking up trash during his lunch break. Since that time it has grown to encompass more than 10,000 volunteers across four states.