• 81°

Renew Our Rivers kicks off fall season of cleanups

Football season is underway but fall also brings the second half of the Renew Our Rivers cleanup schedule.

The program will focus on Lake Demopolis on Oct. 4 and 5. For more information about volunteering for the cleanup contact Jesse Johnson at 334-289-6160 or 251-238-1257.

So far this year, volunteers have removed more than 164,000 pounds of trash and debris from Alabama lakes and rivers.

The Renew Our Rivers program began in the spring of 2000 with Gene Phifer’s vision to clean a stretch of the Coosa River near Alabama Power’s Plant Gadsden, where he worked at the time.

Since then, more than 117,000 volunteers have joined the effort and collected more than 15.5 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast. In 2018 alone, 4,000 volunteers removed more than 268,000 pounds of trash from Alabama lakes, rivers and shorelines.

“Now that summer is coming to an end, the Renew Our River campaign is getting back into full swing,” said Mike Clelland, an Alabama Power Environmental Affairs specialist who helps coordinate the cleanups. “We hope people will consider coming out and joining us in the 10 cleanups between now and November.”

The next cleanups are Sept. 12 on Smith Lake, and Village Creek in Jefferson County. The last cleanup of the year is Nov. 1-2 on Lake Martin.

Renew Our Rivers is one of many initiatives in which Alabama Power partners with others to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in communities across the state.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, September 18 issue of the Demopolis Times.)