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Sweep the Hooch: Hundreds Volunteer to Help Cleanup River

Saturday's 4th annual event took place across 28 sites and more than 60 miles in and along the Chattahoochee River, a liquid lifeline for millions of Georgians and numerous wildlife.

More than 600 volunteers registered for the cleanup, which took place across 28 sites and more than 60 miles in and along the Chattahoochee River. Courtesy Joy Woodson
More than 600 volunteers registered for the cleanup, which took place across 28 sites and more than 60 miles in and along the Chattahoochee River. Courtesy Joy Woodson
By Joy Woodson

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, along with its partners Trout Unlimited and the National Park Service, hosted the 4th Annual Sweep the Hooch on Saturday, April 12.

More than 600 volunteers registered for the cleanup, which took place across 28 sites and more than 60 miles in and along the Chattahoochee River. As a public service, the multi-site cleanup is hosted free to the community.

The event is a time for everyone — friends, family, business owners and more — to band together in an effort to restore and preserve the Chattahoochee River, a liquid lifeline for millions of Georgians and numerous wildlife.

The total amount of trash collected is expected to be released no later than Wednesday, April 23. But, last year nearly 3.7 tons of river refuse was collected with half a ton recycled.

“It’s amazing the amount of plastic bottles and styrofoam that’s in the waterways,” said Bob Caton, a first-year volunteer from Atlanta. "Very eye-opening when you get out there."

People don’t make the connection between what they do, and how it impacts the river, he added. When you toss a water bottle — and you don’t stick it in the trash, where does it go,” he questioned.

"It goes to the rivers or creeks, streams,” Caton said. "People don’t get it. It’s out of sight, out of mind. And, then the amount of plastic bags, are also unbelievable… Those things are everywhere."

For more information on ways that you can help, check out www.chattahoochee.org.

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