Rivers Alive Cleanup planned - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rivers Alive Cleanup planned

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August 17, 2004

Valdosta - Its a common site in most all of Georgia's waterways, trash and debris floating in the Withlacoochee River.

"Over 80 percent of our waterways are impaired," said Emily Perry, Environmental Planner.

You may not physically put the trash in the water, but chances are you have contributed to this pollution. "One of the biggest problems is non-point source pollution, that's anything from trash to runoff in the roads, people who put trash in the back of the truck and it blows out when they're riding down the road," said Perry.

But the Department of Natural Resources is taking steps to keep this resource clean. Tuesday, South Georgians met in Valdosta to organize the the state's Rivers Alive Cleanup. "They get as many volunteers as they an to go out in the streams, clean up, and make people aware of what they're finding, let people know how they can impact as well as improve the water quality," said Perry.

Since the project started in 1992, an estimated 1.2 million pounds of trash has been collected, and you may be surprised at what they've found. "Shingles, recliners, tv's, we've found pieces of vehicles," said Perry.

Doesn't sound like ingredients you want in your drinking water, but, "If that surface water is polluted, then we're potentially polluting our own bodies," said Deron Davis, Environmental Coordinator.

And taking a little time to clean up after yourself and others will keep this resource as pure as mother nature intended.

The Rivers Alive Cleanups are scheduled for various weekends during October.

posted at 3:50 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com