The Tennessee River wasn't always filled to the brim with rubbage, but it certainly has been for quite some time. Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and Johnsonville State Historic Park, two nonprofits in the region, teamed up to collect the trash that had been floating in the river following their clean up from October when they collected 4,811 pounds of trash. Hoping to beat their goal, two dozen volunteers showed up and got to cleaning, eventually collecting 9,200 pounds of pollution.
Altogether, the group covered about three miles of river. Over the course of four separate clean-up events, the team has now amassed 14,019 pounds of rubbish removed from the river.
"That’s how the change for our river will happen: through local partners and individuals who are eager about taking ownership to protect and improve their beautiful river community,” said Executive Director of Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, Kathleen Gibi.
The team hopes that over time they will be able to collect 100,000 pounds of garbage from the water. Their next event will be in April of this year and will follow a similar structure as the previous cleaning crews.
"Our mission is to educate and inspire people to take action to create a clean, healthy, beautiful Tennessee River for generations to come," says the organization on their website. "We seek to achieve this mission by hosting river cleanups and other programming not to be custodians of the river but to show our volunteers the impact litter has on our waterways and what they can do to make a difference."