In a kickoff weekend celebrating October as ‘Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful Month,’ 73 volunteers removed a total of 9,400 pounds of trash from the Tennessee River’s Fort Loudoun Lake in Lenoir City and Knoxville during river cleanups.
Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (KTNRB) hosted the events in partnership with Living Lands & Waters, Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)’s Highway Beautification Office, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, Keep Knoxville Beautiful, and Yamaha Rightwaters™.
Living Lands & Waters brought five 30-foot-long aluminum boats to add to KTNRB’s 25-foot-long boat. Volunteers ventured out to various shorelines, collecting 270 bags of trash (mostly filled with plastic bottles), 30 tires, 855 pounds of scrap metal that will be recycled, a 30.5-foot-long concrete dock, and much more.
In Lenoir City, 30 volunteers removed 5,903 pounds of trash before enjoying a free lunch sponsored by Calhoun’s at the Marina at the riverside restaurant. The 43 volunteers in Knoxville removed 3,497 pounds of trash after enjoying a sponsored brunch at the Lakeside Tavern, where KTNRB’s 1st annual Ripple Effect Awards presented by Yamaha Rightwaters™ were awarded to nine Tennessee recipients.
“It was a truly inspiring weekend, with passionate volunteers smiling the whole time they cleaned the river, elected officials reading proclamations for our waterways, and river champion award recipients getting recognized,” said Kathleen Gibi, KTNRB Executive Director.
TDOT Transportation Manager Mike McClanahan read a proclamation by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee declaring October to be ‘Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful Month.’ City of Knoxville Vice Mayor Finbarr Saunders and Knox County Commission Chairman Hugh Nystrom presented similar proclamations from Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs.
“We’ve got a lot to be proud of with this treasure called the Tennessee River, and what we’re seeing through KTNRB Month is that everyone—private citizens, companies, sponsors, nonprofits, governments, elected officials—are all demonstrating how valuable the river is to them,” said Gibi.
Recipients of the 2019 Tennessee Ripple Effect Awards presented by Yamaha Rightwaters™ included:
Adopt a River Mile – Anthony Laurino
Conservation – Ijams Nature Center
Corporation – Waterfront Management,
Standout Youth – Cash ‘The Conservation Kid’ Daniels
Keep America/Tennessee Beautiful Affiliate – Keep Bristol Beautiful
Government Department – TDOT’s Highway Beautification Office
Elected Official – Alderman John Stamps of Collierville, TN
Marina – Hickory Star Resort & Marina
Beacon – Jake Davis
Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful has an upcoming 2019 Ripple Effect Awards ceremony for Kentucky Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 am. – Kenlake State Park Bayview Building | Golden Pond, KY
River cleanups will be held immediately following the awards. Please visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/upcomingcleanups for more information.