130 volunteers removed 34,500 pounds of waste in October, Smashing River group’s goal of eliminating 125,000 pounds in 1 year

A total of 134 volunteers participated in six river cleanups organized by Keep the Tennessee River
Beau, helping to shed 34,481 lbs. of waste from Tennessee and Cumberland
rivers in October. The month was declared by four governors and four mayors to be “Keep the
Beautiful month of the Tennessee River watershed. ‘

“Last month’s success is a testament to the energy bubbling around the Tennessee River.
a turning point thanks to dozens of committed partners, hundreds of passionate volunteers and many
support sponsors, ”said Kathleen Gibi, Executive Director of KTNRB. “None of this would be
possible without them, and more than ever, I think we see the significant impact we can have for this river when we work together.

October’s massive total helped KTNRB lift their ‘125,000 lbs. Out of the water (pun intended).
Target for 2021 River Cleanups presented by YETI. ‘ The river group is now sitting at 147,511 pounds. of garbage removed by 671 volunteers this year alone, more than double their previous record of 61,500 lbs. set for 2020. KTNRB was able to expand its target of removing 100,000 lbs. to 125,000 pounds. earlier this year after receiving sponsorship from YETI, allowing the group to organize more river cleanups.

Of the 147,511 pounds. Of the waste removed this year, Gibi estimated that single-use beverage containers such as aluminum cans, styrofoam cups or glass and plastic bottles weighed over 44,500 lbs. She called the number a “low estimate” percentage of what filled the 3,176 bags of garbage removed by volunteers in 2021.

KTNRB set other new records and firsts with the cleanup of rivers last month. To start, 38 volunteers
removed the most trash during any cleanup on Lake Pickwick in Iuka, Miss./Hardin County, Tenn.
with 6,850 lbs. deleted.

A new record was also set for the most trash removed during a KTNRB cleanup, with 30 volunteers
remove 12,489 lbs. of waste in just four hours. Much of the waste collected that day included a wharf
floats, large blocks of polystyrene and tires, presumably accumulated on the shores of Lake Kentucky in
Benton, Ky. Following severe tornadoes and flooding in recent years.
The month also brought in some firsts for KTNRB, the most obvious being an organized cleanup on
Cumberland River, which is outside of the nonprofit organization’s typical service area. Swiss watchmaking
company was hosting a conference for its North American offices in Nashville, heard
about the river clean-up group, and asked them to organize a river clean-up from the boat launch near the Opryland Convention Center so that their 40+ attendees can help with the
community where they met.

Other premieres for KTNRB last month came with cleanups held in the towns of Ten Mile, Tennessee,
Scottsboro, Al., And Benton, Ky. For the first time.

“It’s exciting to see the energy build up in areas where we’ve had cleanups, but I’m still
even more inspired when we can see people’s eyes light up when we organize a clean-up in a
community for the first time, ”Ms. Gibi said, noting that Scottsboro, Al. the area had four new rivers
adoptions following their clean-up which was held there on October 1st.

“I love this cleaning series because you can really see the impact that is possible when we are
reinforced by the level of energy brought in by the crew of a power plant like Living Lands & Waters, ”said Ms. Gibi.

Four of the October cleanups were assisted by the national nonprofit Living Lands & Waters,
who brought in their five 30-foot work boats to complete KTNRB’s 26-foot boat. LL&W was
operating since 1998, cutting over 11 million pounds. waste from rivers in North America and
ultimately playing a big role in the formation of KTNRB with the Tennessee Valley Authority
and keep Tennessee beautiful.

“These cleanups have been fun for everyone involved and I feel like this particular month is really
showed how much KTNRB has grown, ”said Dan Breidenstein of Living Lands & Waters, who is also vice chairman of the board of KTNRB. “We always love working with them and it’s gratifying to see them accomplish so much.

Throughout October, KTNRB visited the four states affected by the main stem of
the Tennessee River, which includes Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Cleaning
the series was funded by TVA, Tennessee Department of Transportation, KTnB, Yamaha Rightwaters
and YETI.

Of the 34,481 pounds. of waste removed during these six cleanups last month, 134 volunteers helped to
remove 633 garbage bags and 111 tires, among many other items. Here’s a breakdown of each
cleaning totals:

10.1.21 Scottsboro, s. (Guntersville Lake) | 3,917 lbs. | 8 volunteers
10.2.21 Ten miles, Tn. (Watts Bar Lake) | 5,584 lbs. | 13 volunteers
10.13.21 Nashville, Tennessee (Cumberland River) | 4,280 lbs | 42 volunteers
10.15.21 Iuka, Mrs (Pickwick Lake) | 6,850 pounds. | 38 volunteers
10.16.21 Benton, Kentucky (Kentucky Lake) | 12,489 pounds | 30 volunteers
10.25.21 Knoxville, Tennessee. (Fort Loudoun Lake) | 1,361 lbs. | 3 volunteers

Each year, KTNRB solicits proclamations from elected officials to declare October as “Keep the
Beautiful month of the Tennessee River watershed. ‘ This year, four governors and four mayors made
proclamations, including:

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee Knoxville, Tennessee Mayor Indya Kincannon
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey Kingston, Tennessee Mayor Timothy Neal
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves Scottsboro, AL Mayor Jim McCamy
Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear Florence, Mayor of AL Andy Betterton

3rd Annual Ripple Effect Awards Presented By Yamaha Rightwaters To Be Presented Digitally
again this year due to COVID-19, and appointments to the KTNRB were closed last month. River
champions in three different geographic regions in the Tennessee River watershed are
recognized for their river management.

Traditionally, the prizes are presented at a banquet held before a big clean up of the river during Keep
the beautiful month of the Tennessee River watershed. While the much sought-after blown glass trophies will still be awarded, they will be showcased via professionally produced virtual videos later this year. The winners will be announced before the end of the year.

For more information on Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful’s ongoing programs or to see their river
cleaning schedule, visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org.

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