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Aug. 6, 2020
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10th annual Sweep the Hooch

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
For the 10th year, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is hosting Sweep the Hooch to clean up trash, garbage and debris along the shores of the Chattahoochee River. More than 1,000 volunteers are expected to turn out on Saturday, August 29. 
 
“We’re asking people to register ahead of time so that we can open communications between the volunteers and site leaders to have a safe, socially distanced event,” said Mallory Pendleton with the Riverkeeper’s Headwaters office in Gainesville. “We have a comprehensive list of sites all along the river so that people can see where they can volunteer.” 
 
In the past nine years, volunteers have removed more than 113 tons of trash from the shorelines. More than 40 sites along a 100-mile stretch of the river and tributaries have been organized.
 
“Because of COVID-19 and our safety concerns for our volunteers and the community, we are also offering a number of suggestions to help with keeping the Chattahoochee River clean,” Pendleton said. “Explore the river on your own and pick up trash as you do. And to maintain good health of your home and municipal sewage pipes, please only flush toilet paper. Do not flush paper towels or wipes, because they can very easily clog up pipes. Even if wipes are labeled ‘flushable,’ they take longer to break down, so avoid flushing them as well.”
 
CRK is also collecting donations from this event, with a goal of raising $10,000 that will be used for programming, education, research and advocacy.
 
“One way that people can help generate awareness and funds is to post on their own Facebook pages what they like and why they appreciate the Chattahoochee and share this with their friends,” Pendleton said. “And we’d like them to link to our website or our Facebook page so that even more people know about us and our work.”
 
There are a number of sites in the headwaters, around Lake Lanier and above Buford Dam that will serve as satellite collection points. 
 
“People can walk the shorelines, paddle on the river or wade to collect trash,” she said. “It will certainly be a fun day for recreation while working toward a great cause – helping keep the Chattahoochee River clean.”
 
Registration is open now at www.chattahoochee.org.

Posted online 7.30.20
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