Rivers Alive Annual Cleanup

At our last Rivers Alive Cleanup, we made a significant impact by collecting an impressive 1,380 pounds of trash from our Walnut Creek watershed area.

Please stay tuned for updates on our next Rivers Alive event, which will take place next fall. We will announce the exact date closer to the event, and we hope to see you all once again, ready to make a difference.


Rivers Alive is Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event that targets all waterways in the State including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches, and wetlands. In 1999, the various cleanup organizations throughout the state unified for the first time to form Rivers Alive.

The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. Rivers Alive is held annually each fall and is a program of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Outreach Program.

Waterways are our planet’s life support system. When we fill the rivers, lakes, and oceans with our trash, we jeopardize our health, the survival of animals, and the health of Georgia’s economy.

  • It’s a threat to our economies: There are several costs associated with waterway debris, from educational programs to the technology and labor needed to remove waste and trash.
  • It’s a threat to wildlife and habitat: Waterway trash can entrap and strangle wildlife. Also, if animals eat trash, they can absorb high concentrations of toxins. This has been seen in both seabirds and sea turtles, where higher levels of contaminants have been found in the blood of animals that had ingested plastic particles.
  • It’s a threat to our health and food safety: Toxic chemicals are transferred up the food chain as large aquatic predators—many of which we eat—accumulate toxins eaten or absorbed by smaller fish and plants. The concentrations of toxins in these predators increase considerably as they move up the food chain.

Future generations will be the ones dealing with our trash. Estimated time it takes for these products to decompose:

• Fishing line: 600 years

• Plastic Bottles: 450 years

• Aluminum cans: 200 years

• Plastics bags: 1-20 years

If you look at the cleanup results at www.RiversAlive.org, you will see that Rivers Alive organizers and volunteers have found and picked up millions of pounds of trash over the years. In 2018, 23,710 volunteers cleaned 1,170 miles of waterways and removed 496,000 pounds of trash and garbage including tires, cans, shopping carts and refrigerators from Georgia’s waterways.


Georgia's 70,150 miles of streams and rivers need your help. Everyone can help solve or prevent this problem and protect one of our most precious resources. Henry County Water Authority hosts a cleanup annually for the community to remove pollution from the waterways that serve as a home to wildlife, a source for our drinking water and a destination for recreation.

Sign up with friends and family for a rewarding day and know that you are making a difference! If you know of a waterway that could use some cleanup, or for more information about our next Rivers Alive event, please contact 770-914-3688.

What should volunteers bring?

Heavy-duty work gloves, water bottle, sunscreen & insect repellant.

What should I wear?

Long pants are recommended, a long-sleeved shirt is appropriate for extra protection against poison ivy and ticks, covered shoes are advisable, high-topped work boots with non-skid soles will help prevent slips and falls, and a hat for sun protection.
Age Requirements

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old with a parent/guardian present at the event. Volunteers between 16-18 years old can participate without a parent/guardian present with a signed waiver.  All volunteers must sign a waiver. 

To find other local cleanups, visit www.RiversAlive.com.