Renew Our Rivers kicks off 21st year

Justin Averette

The third decade of Renew Our Rivers (ROR) gets underway in February with the first of the year’s 32 cleanups of Alabama rivers and waterways. If last year is any indication, there will be more volunteers and more trash removed in 2020, said Mike Clelland, ROR coordinator.

Since 2000, when the program began, 122,000 volunteers have collected almost 16 million pounds from waterways and shorelines in the South. In 2019, more than 5,000 volunteers removed almost 450,000 pounds of trash, including old boats, mattresses, tires, appliances and other unsightly items, a 4% increase over the previous year’s haul.

“We not only picked up more trash in 2019. We also had more volunteers,” said Clelland, an Environmental Affairs specialist for Alabama Power who helps coordinate the cleanups with multiple partners. “Twenty years in and the enthusiasm and participation remain strong. I fully expect 2020 to be just as successful as 2019, if not more so.”

An Alabama River cleanup in Autauga County on Feb. 15 leads off this year’s schedule, which concludes the first week of November at Lake Martin.

Volunteers elevate Alabama through Renew Our Rivers from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Renew Our Rivers began in 2000 with a cleanup by Alabama Power employees along the Coosa River at the company’s Plant Gadsden. It has grown to become one of America’s largest river cleanup initiatives, with the help of community partners, volunteers and organizations.

“Alabama is a beautiful place with extraordinary natural resources,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president for Environmental Affairs. “Protecting those resources, while providing reliable, affordable electricity for our customers, is at the heart of our company’s mission. The commitment by Alabama Power employees to Renew Our Rivers remains strong, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our community partners across the state who support the effort year after year.”

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. The 2020 schedule of Renew Our Rivers cleanups is below. For updates to the schedule, visit alabamapower.com/renewourrivers.

2020 Renew Our Rivers Schedule

Feb. 15: Alabama River

Contact: John Paul O’Driscoll at 334-850-7153 or [email protected]

Feb. 29: Bankhead Lake (Warrior River)

Contact: Ronnie Tew at 205-908-4857

March 7: Lake Eufaula (Chattahoochee River)

Contact: Brad Moore at [email protected]

March 14: Valley Creek (Spring)

Contact: Freddie Freeman at 205-424-4060, ext. 4188 or [email protected]

March 21: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)

Contact: Mike Clelland at 205-354-9348

March 28-April 4: Logan Martin (Coosa River)

Contact: Bud Kitchin at 256-239-0242

March 28: Minor Heights Community at Village Creek

Contact: Yohance Owens at 205-798-0087 or [email protected]

March 28-April 4: Lay Lake (Coosa River)

Contact: Judy Jones at 205-669-4865

April 11: Lay Lake at E.C. Gaston Plant (Coosa River)

Contact: Tanisha Fenderson at [email protected]

April 4: Cahaba River

Contact: David Butler at [email protected]

April 14-15: Mobile River (Plant Barry)

Contact: Bo Cotton at 251-331-0603

April 18: Lake Jordan (Coosa River)

Contact: Brenda Basnight at 334-478-3388

Date TBD: Plant Miller (Locust Fork)

Contact: TBD

April 24: Smith Lake (Cullman County)

Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

April 25: Weiss Lake

Contact: Sam Marko at 404-626-8594

April 29-30: Smith Lake (Winston County)

Contact: Allison Cochran at 205-489-5111

May 1: Plant Gorgas (Mulberry Fork)

Contact: John Pate at 205-686-2324 or [email protected]

May 15: Lake Seminole

Contact: Melanie Rogers at [email protected]

May 16: Chattahoochee River (Plant Farley)

Contact: Melanie Rogers at [email protected]

May 18-19: Smith Lake (Walker County)

Contact: Roger Treglown at 205-300-5253

Aug. 8: Holt Lake (Black Warrior River)

Contact: Becky Clark at 205-799-2449

Aug. 14: Plant Miller (Locust Fork)

Contact: Madison Maughon at 205-438-0150 or [email protected]

Aug. 15: Valley Creek

Contact: TBD

Aug. 15: Upper Tallapoosa River

Contact: Lex Brown at 256-239-6399

Sept: 8-9: Smith Lake (Walker County)

Contact: Roger Treglown at 205-300-5253

Date TBD: Village Creek

Contact: Yohance Owens at 205-798-0087

Sept.18: Smith Lake (Cullman County)

Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

Sept. 24: Smith Lake (Winston County)

Contact: Jim Eason at [email protected]

Oct. 2-3: Lake Demopolis

Contact: Jesse Johnson at 334-289-6160 or 251-238-1257

Oct. 13: Dog River (Mobile County)

Contact: Catie Boss at 251-829-2146 or [email protected]

Oct.17: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)

Contact: Dale Vann at 205-910-3713

Oct. 20-22: Lake Harris (Tallapoosa River-Lake Wedowee)

Contact: Sheila Smith at 205-396-5093 or Marlin Glover at 770-445-0824

Oct. 26-31: Neely Henry Lake (Coosa River)

Contact: Lisa Dover at 256-549-0900

Nov. 6-7: Lake Martin (Tallapoosa River)

Contact: John Thompson at 334-399-3289 or [email protected]

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