June 2022

A Quarterly Publication of Rivers Alive

Register Your 2022 Cleanup Events Today!

Photo: Carole Miller, Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup 2021

It's that time of year again! Registration is open for 2022 Rivers Alive Cleanup events on the Rivers Alive website

To register, sign in to your Rivers Alive account, navigate to the "Register/Manage Your Event" page, and click "Register a New Event". Once your cleanup is registered, then you will be able to enter a request for free t-shirts, educational materials, and trash bags by clicking "Edit" at the top of your account page. 

Any cleanups being held between August 1st and December 31st are eligible for free shirts, but you must register your event and request shirts by July 31st. After this date, organizers that requested shirts will be able to view the number of free t-shirts that Rivers Alive is able to allocate to their event, as well as request sizes and purchase additional shirts if needed.

Additionally, during registration, remember to select the award categories that best apply to your cleanup so your efforts can be considered for a 2022 Rivers Alive award! This information, along with your final tally and supplemental information, is what the Rivers Alive Advisory Board considers when selecting the award winners. We encourage you to include as much detail as possible in your final reports so that your hard work can be recognized! In addition, please take a moment to review the 2021 Annual Report for some impressive highlights and a sneak peek at the theme for 2022. 

Please note that although only fall cleanups can request this year's t-shirts and materials, Rivers Alive supports cleanups year-round. If you already conducted a cleanup this year, or have one planned for this summer, you can still register your cleanup on our website and enter your results. The Rivers Alive advisory board considers all cleanups for the annual awards. Additionally, depending on inventory, there may be leftover shirts or materials from previous years available to distribute at your event. If you have any questions or need assistance submitting data, please email us at Happy cleanup season!

Congratulations 2021 Rivers Alive Award Winners!

The 2021 Awards Ceremony and Luncheon was a success! The annual event was held on April 27th at Park Tavern in Atlanta and recognized volunteers and sponsors who made outstanding contributions to the health of Georgia's waterways in 2021. Every year, the award winners are chosen by the Rivers Alive advisory board based on cleanup data submitted at

Please join us in congratulating our 2021 award winners!

Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Award
WWALS Watershed Coalition

Lowndes and Lanier Counties, GA
41 Volunteers
102 Volunteer hours
1460 Pounds of debris

Most Common Items:
Styrofoam cups & plastic bottles


4-H Award
Gordon County 4-H

Calhoun, GA
50 Volunteers
350 Volunteer hours
8100 Pounds of debris

Most Unusual Items:
life jacket saw blade, apple
jelly, staple gun & 4 big
truck tires

Scout Award
Girl Scout Troop 19789

Roswell, GA
21 Volunteers
21 Volunteer hours
140 Pounds of debris

Most unusual items:
razor scooter, computer
monitor, blood pressure cuff

Government Partner Award
City of Roswell & Keep Roswell Beautiful

Roswell, GA
205 Volunteers
808 Volunteer hours
2285 Pounds of debris

Most unusual items:
Antique steering wheel, Sam’s
Club double wide buggy, pink
plastic flamingo

Spark of Energy Award

GA Power Company
North Georgia Lake Resources

Stephens, Habersham, & Rabun Counties
68 Volunteers
936 Volunteer hours
600 Pounds of debris

Georgia School Award
University of West Georgia
Geosciences Program

Carrollton, GA
17 Volunteers
34 Volunteer hours
240 Pounds of debris

Most unusual items:
bike & sign post

Keep Georgia Beautiful Award
Keep Warner Robins Beautiful

Warner Robins, GA
28 Volunteers
112 Volunteer hours
1280 Pounds of debris

Most unusual item:
curbside trashcan

Coastal Cleanup Award
Keep Golden Isles Beautiful

Glynn County, GA
36 Volunteers
54 Volunteer hours
1900 Pounds of debris

Cleaned 4 miles of tributaries of the East
River before it flows into St. Simons Sound

Georgia Club Award
Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited

Blue Ridge, GA
67 Volunteers
262 Volunteer hours
1860 Pounds of debris

Most unusual items:
flip flops & crocs

Nonprofit Organization Award
Georgia Interfaith Power & Light

Decatur, GA
40 Volunteers
80 Volunteer hours
450 Pounds of debris

Most unusual items:
toy tricycle

Confluence Award
Athens-Clarke County
Rivers Alive Committee

Athens, GA
188 Volunteers
376 Volunteer hours
7080 Pounds of debris

Collected 970 lbs. of scrap
metal, 6393 lbs. of leaf &
limb debris, & 44 tires


Board Member Highlight
Louis Salters
General Manager, WestRock
RA: What brought you to the Rivers Alive Board?
LS: My father. Growing up, one of the places I remember connecting most with my father was on the water in Michigan. Fishing, ice fishing, boating, canoeing, or just staring at the Detroit River from Belle Isle Park: that is where he was most at peace, and that is where we connected. We enjoyed and explored the waterways together, and those memories have remained with me. When I moved to GA in 2015 and my father passed away unexpectedly in 2018, Rivers Alive was an organization that provided a way for me to unplug from the busyness of life and career and reconnect and give back to the waterways of this state so that others can cherish and have lasting memories with their loved ones, just as I did. Now as a father of two, I want to do all that I can so I can carry my father’s love for waterways with them.
RA: What do you believe are the most pressing water related issues in our state?
LS: I believe our most pressing water issue in the state is conservation. After living in California for a few years, a state that has been in a drought for over a decade, and seeing the water levels low in so many bodies throughout our state as well, I can see that the changing weather patterns have the potential to drastically impact our communities, economy, and our way of living. We must take responsibility now, making sound decisions to conserve and reuse all the water that we have access to in our state.
RA: What can community members do to support RA in our state?
LS: Citizens in our community can support RA most by participating in waterway clean ups, choosing not to pollute, and committing to reduce their water usage in their personal lives by 5-10%.
RA: What is your favorite Georgia waterway experience?
LS: My favorite waterway experience in Georgia was taking my two year old son to Lake Oconee and walking the sand beach with him for the first time. He was mesmerized by the reflection of the light off of the water and the tranquility of the moment. 

Sponsor Highlight

Troutman Pepper is a national law firm with more than 1,200 attorneys strategically located in 23 U.S. cities. The firm’s litigation, transactional, and regulatory practices advise a diverse client base — from startups to multinational enterprises. We provide legal solutions to clients’ most pressing business challenges, with depth across industry sectors, including financial services, health sciences, insurance, and private equity, among others.  

Our national Environmental + Natural Resources practice helps clients navigate critical environmental issues across the U.S. in the context of complex litigation, compliance, enforcement, and transactional matters. We serve as trusted advisors on everyday compliance and enforcement defense issues, and are increasingly called upon to handle bet-the-company matters. We work with clients in areas such as: 

•    Water and Air Quality 
•    Climate Change
•    Ecosystem Markets
•    Environmental Permitting + Compliance 
•    Environmental Justice
•    Environmental Litigation and Enforcement Defense
•    Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

As thought leaders in environmental law, we recognize the impact of key developments in water law and policy on our clients’ businesses and in everyday life. We offer insights through resources such as our Reflections on Water Podcast, which focuses on developments in water law and policy, led by Partner David Ross and Counsel Anna Wildeman, as well as the Environmental Law & Policy Monitor, which provides readers with the latest environmental news. 

Our national team is committed to the important conversations around water quality, management, and security. For example, we work with Mission H2O, a diverse group of water users and providers from a variety of industries, local governments, water authorities, agricultural operations, and consultants. Troutman attorneys also work extensively with clients in the hydropower, electric utility, and water utility sectors across virtually all regions of the country. We count numerous state and municipal government entities among our clients, as well.


Stay Connected!
Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest Rivers Alive news! Tag us in your cleanup posts and photos and use #gariversalive for a chance to be featured on our page. We love to see all the good work you do!

The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. This would not be possible without the generous financial support of the corporate sponsors listed below.

Major Corporate Sponsors


Additional Support From
Fieldale Farms PoultryEversheds Sutherland | JDS, Inc.
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders | Zee Company


If you would like to sponsor Rivers Alive, please find more information on our Sponsorship page

Rivers Alive is a program of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Outreach Unit.   470-524-0620 | 470-524-5791

The preparation of this newsletter was financed in part through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under provisions of Section 319(h) of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1987, as amended.