If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that helps to make an impact, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful has some great opportunities to pledge volunteer work within the Tennessee River watershed, thanks in large part to support and sponsorship from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
ADOPT A STORM DRAIN
Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (KTNRB) has launched its latest program to empower Tennessee River watershed residents to protect their waterways with the ‘Adopt a Storm Drain’ program.
The program is completely free and participants will receive cleaning supplies, t-shirts, water bottles, and a marker for the storm drain declaring their good deed (with the municipality’s permission). Through their pledge, participants commit to cleaning the storm drain on a monthly basis.
It’s estimated that 80% of the litter in our waterways is originally littered on land, and rain waters like what we experienced over this past weekend will wash that litter from our streets into our storm drains, which ultimately redirect the water into our creeks and rivers.
“Participants in our Adopt a Storm Drain program will help to protect our waterways from potential litter while also serving as ambassadors that educate passersby as they work,” said Kathleen Gibi, Executive Director for KTNRB. “While litter removal is important, awareness is crucial to change the societal habits that cause litter in the first place.”
To register to adopt a storm drain, please visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/stormdrain.
ADOPT A RIVER MILE
Another option to support the Tennessee River at your own pace is to adopt a river mile. There are currently more than 20 river miles adopted to date on the 652-mile Tennessee River.
Like the storm drain program, individuals or groups can pledge to adopt a river mile by hosting two cleanups a year. In return, participants will receive cleaning supplies, stainless steel water bottles, t-shirts, and a sign provided by Living Lands & Waters with the individual or company name to proclaim the adoption.
To register for the Adopt a River Mile program, visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/adopt.
ORGANIZED RIVER CLEANUPS
Throughout the year, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful hosts organized river cleanups in which volunteers are taken out on KTNRB’s 25 foot aluminum boat to do shoreline cleanups.
There are also six cleanups hosted each year in partnership with the national nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters, who bring additional boats to make a greater impact.
Through 17 cleanups hosted in 2019, 434 volunteers helped to remove over 48,000 pounds of trash from the Tennessee River watershed.
This is a great way to make a difference and share comradery with friends and new faces.
To register, visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/upcomingcleanups.