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Two days of work by volunteers on Watts Bar and Fort Loudoun lakes has removed nearly 8 tons of trash and garbage.
Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful led 58 volunteers March 20-21 in the cleanup of the river’s reservoirs in Roane, Knox and Blount counties. The “Tennessee River Grand Slam Cleanup Series” collected 9,426 pounds of refuse from Watts Bar and 6,286 pounds from Fort Loudoun, a total of more than 15,700 pounds.
Among some of the items collected were a dock, an abandoned boat, a washing machine, and a portable toilet.
“We are blown away by the ever-increasing enthusiasm and momentum around river cleanup efforts in diverse communities in the Tennessee River watershed,” Kathleen Gibi, executive director for KTNRB, said. “The energy is seen in the numbers, like the phenomenal achievements our volunteers made this weekend.”
Two cleanups remain in this year’s series: April 9 in Iuka, Mississippi, and Hardin County, Tennessee, and April 10 in The Shoals, Alabama.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, Kingston City Manager David Bolling, Rockwood City Administrator Becky Ruppe, Roane County Solid Waste, Knox County Solid Waste, Ijams Nature Center, Tennessee Aquatic Weed Removal and Tennessee RiverLine helped put on the event.
“Ultimately, this river is why our cities and towns are here; it contributes to our food and water, our
economy, our culture, and so much of our everyday lives,” Gibi said. “So many energized partners
coming together to protect and beautify the Tennessee River is a win for our communities, and we see it as a sign that there are better days to come for this river system.”