Alabama Power employees began the Renew Our Rivers campaign as a community cleanup project for littered areas around the Coosa River in Gadsden. However, it quickly evolved into one of the nation’s largest river cleanup efforts.
On March 30, volunteers continued the tradition, spending the morning on Logan Martin Lake. With enough people for two teams, boats were sent in opposite directions to find and gather debris from the riverbanks. Findings included everything from small trash like aluminum cans to larger items, such as a sunken refrigerator and an abandoned boat. The teams collected all they could, while the environmental specialists on board took note of objects that would require large equipment to retrieve later.
“This is the 18th year of the campaign, 17 on Logan Martin Lake,” said Environmental Affairs Specialist Mike Clelland. “In that time, over 6,000 volunteers have pitched in to remove over 162 tons of trash from the lake. We are seeing less trash each year while participation remains strong. It is really rewarding to work with such great groups of volunteers, sharing a common goal in conservation and preservation.”
Leah Amis, engineering supervisor in Pell City, said she enjoyed spending the morning on the river. “My family and I spend a lot of time on Logan Martin Lake, so I was surprised at the amount of trash we found dumped near the areas we typically take our kids on the boat.”
Clelland said Renew Our Rivers provides significant aid to the environment and the shorelines.