Exclusive, celebrity environmentalist and “CNN 2013 Top 10 Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke,” will be touring Knoxville in 2015. Source http://livinglandsandwaters.org/get-involved/tennessee-river-tour/ . For exact information on what the mission of this tour will involve click this link to see the press kit. http://livinglandsandwaters.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/TN-River-Tour-Overviewv.2.pdf According to the website’s main sponsorship page, both TDOT and TVA are major sponsors. The range of sponsorship is not specific. According to the website sponsorship from TVA ranges from as low as $10,000.00 to as high $24,999.00! For TDOT the sponsorship ranges from as low as $50,000 to as high as $99,999.00! See sponsorship list source here http://livinglandsandwaters.org/about-us/sponsors-supporters/ It must be noted that this organization is docking at multiple locations in Tennessee. This organization will be performing multiple cleanups statewide.
However, the City of Knoxville, is listed as an “additional sponsor” here http://livinglandsandwaters.org/get-involved/tennessee-river-tour/ . The organization http://livinglandsandwaters.org/ has a top notch level of standards. http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10891#.VDr4n_ldWRN
While the organization does an amazing job. After the organization and celebrity leave, it becomes up to the local volunteers and the Knox County Sheriff Office, to clean the creeks and rivers. A significant amount of trash and debris is usually collected during the celebrity inspired event. However, new debris returns and sadly the only people that return to clean it up are normally the dedicated volunteers that perform the actions throughout the year. However, as we have seen with Second Creek, the volunteers are often overburdened with a large amount of work. Plus, they are forced to fight for scarce funds.
A perfect example of this is the KCSO prison work release program. They recently cleaned out the Fountain City Lake. They spend thousands of hours and save taxpayers millions of dollars cleaning waterways, creeks, and roadside trash, year round! Sheriff JJ Jones, a man so passionate about clean water and saving the environment…specifically hired a director with an extensive background in storm water engineering. However, the Sheriff as well as the volunteer agencies will have to fight for what little funding they can get to support their noble projects. In conclusion, it appears that while outside celebrity environmentalist organizations are getting significant funding…our local environmental groups and the KCSO are getting trash…literally on roadsides, in rivers, ponds, creeks, and other waterways, year round!
Dan Andrews reporting!