16th Annual Conasauga Watershed Clean-up

DALTON, GA - Residents of Whitfield and Murray Counties are encouraged to help clean-up the Conasauga River during the United Way of Northwest Georgia’s “Make a Difference Day” on Saturday, October 23rd from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The Conasauga Watershed Clean-up has been a part of Rivers Alive, a statewide campaign to clean and preserve over 70,000 miles of Georgia’s rivers and streams, for sixteen years.

Six locations through out Whitfield and Murray counties have been selected as clean-up sites:

1. Conasauga River at Lower King’s Bridge/Norton Bridge

2. Conasauga River at Highway 2 bridge

3. Conasauga River at Carlton Petty Road bridge

4. Holly Creek, Murray County, on the Chattahoochee National Forest

5. Mill Creek tributary in the City of Dalton

6. Coahulla Creek at Prater’s Mill

Those interested in volunteering should arrive at their desired clean-up location the day of the event a few minutes before 9:00 am to register. At least the first 200 volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and stainless steel water bottle in appreciation for their participation. Volunteers should dress appropriately. Sturdy shoes or boots, gloves, long pants, and long sleeved shirts are recommended. Hip or chest waders are useful, but are not required. Trash bags and other clean up supplies will be provided.

To download the event flyer with directions or the volunteer waiver, visit www.KeepDaltonWhitfieldBeautiful.org. For additional information, please contact John Lugthart at jlugthart@daltonstate.edu or call 706-272-2485. For more information about efforts in other areas or the statewide campaign, call 404-675-6240 or go to www.RiversAlive.org.

Local Sponsors include Shaw Industries, Dalton Utilities, Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority (DWSWA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Conasauga River Alliance (CRA).

Coordinators include the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI), CRA, Dalton State College, Dalton Utilities, DWSWA, Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, TNC and Murray & Whitfield County Extension.

Supporters of the statewide campaign include Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and Project WET, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division, Keep Georgia Beautiful, and Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

During the 2009 river cleanup 26,000 volunteers cleaned over 2,150 miles of waterways and removed over 476 tons of trash and garbage including tires, shingles, balls and washing machines from Georgia’s waterways, according to Harold Harbert, Outreach Coordinator with the Environmental Protection Division. Harbert expects Rivers Alive 2010 to involve thousands more volunteers and to continue to be the State’s and one of the South’s largest volunteer efforts to beautify water resources.