The Satilla Riverkeeper is hosting their annual watershed-wide cleanup on September 16, 2017. Beginning at 9 a.m., volunteers will help pick up litter and trash at boat landings, roadways, river banks, parks and beaches from Douglas to Jekyll Island. Volunteers are invited to join any of the designated clean-up sites throughout the watershed. This is a growing river-wide effort and the Satilla Riverkeeper invites any interested individuals, schools, church groups, businesses or other community groups to get involved.
Dumping and littering is a problem throughout the Satilla River watershed. Whether it’s in a yard, street, or outside a dumpster, once heavy rains come, trash is carried to streams and rivers. Litter impacts recreational paddlers, boaters and fisherman, riverfront properties, wildlife and downstream communities. “Joining in this watershed-wide community effort is a great way for people who care about the Satilla River to really make an immediate difference,” said Laura Early, Satilla Riverkeeper. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see how much you can do in just a few hours.”
In order to participate, the Satilla Riverkeeper invites all volunteers to register online through their website (http://www.satillariverkeeper.org/events.html). Online registration is open until Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5 p.m. Volunteers may also register at participating sites starting at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
Participating sites include: Coffee County, Seventeen Mile River: 2200 Sand Hill Church Rd, Douglas, GA 31533; Ware County, Jamestown Landing: Across the road from 5475 Jamestown Rd, Waycross, GA 31503, U.S. 84 Landing: 3001 Plant Avenue Extension, Waycross, GA 31501; Pierce County, Highway 121 Landing: 13664 GA-121, Hoboken, GA 31542; Brantley County, U.S. 301 Landing: 14 US-301, Nahunta, GA 31553, Ava Strickland Lightsey Landing: US 82 Bridge, Atkinson 31553; Charlton County, Burnt Fort Landing: 12118 Burnt Fort Rd, White Oak, GA 31568; Camden County, Woodbine Waterfront Park: 101 E. 1st St, Woodbine, GA 31569; Glynn County, Highway 99 Landing: 580 Highway 99, Brunswick, GA 31523, St. Andrews Picnic Area: 1 S. Riverview Dr, Jekyll Island, GA 31527.
*Addresses listed are approximate, please look online for the exact landing locations. This list is subject to grow as participation increases, please check the Satilla Riverkeeper website for an interactive map showing all of the locations available for this cleanup, and to assist in finding directions to each site.
The cleanup efforts will last from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and water, trash bags and gloves will be provided. Participants are encouraged to wear clothes and sturdy footwear that they don’t mind getting dirty. Following the cleanup, all registered volunteers are invited to gather for a lunch starting at 12 p.m. at Twin Oaks Bluegrass Park (401 Twin Oaks Drive, Hoboken 3154). Sandwiches, snacks and refreshments will be served. FREE t-shirts and other giveaways will be provided on a first come first serve basis!
River cleanups have been an essential part of the Satilla Riverkeeper’s mission since the early years of the organization. Since 2014, the Satilla Riverkeeper hosts an annual river-wide cleanup in partnership with Rivers Alive. Rivers Alive is Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event and is a part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR) Outreach Program. It targets all waterways in the state including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches, and wetlands while creating awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. Through this partnership, the Satilla Riverkeeper has been able to track the success of river-wide cleanups and in three years has removed over 12,000 pounds of trash from the Satilla River.
In addition to the annual partnership with Rivers Alive, this year the Satilla Riverkeeper has also joined forces with the Waterkeeper Alliance International Cleanup and the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup. Through partnerships like this, the Satilla Riverkeeper is joining nearly 12 million people that have been a part of the world’s largest volunteer effort to protect the ocean! By participating in this cleanup, you too can make a difference and be a part of this larger effort to help protect the world’s oceans.
The Satilla Riverkeeper is grateful for the collaboration with community partners, which include South Georgia State College, Friends of the Satilla River, Keep Brantly Beautiful and Litter Free, Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, South Georgia Regional Commission, The Georgia Sea Turtle Center, American Rivers, Rivers Alive, Twin Oaks Bluegrass Park, Seven Rivers Resource Conservation and Development, Earth Inspired Kids, and Woodbine Women’s Club.
The Satilla Riverkeeper is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2004 whose mission is to protect, restore, and educate about the unique and beautiful, black water Satilla River. To learn more about the Satilla Riverkeeper, membership opportunities, and how you can get involved with protecting YOUR Satilla River, visit www.SatillaRiverkeeper.org.