January 25, 2016

A Quarterly Publication of Rivers Alive

Thank You for a Wonderful 2015!

209 Cleanup Organizers and Group Leaders
268 Cleanup Events

Over 25,000 Volunteers Engaged Across Georgia

2,500 Miles of Waterways Cleaned

Over 500,000 Pounds of Trash Removed from Georgia's Waterways!

With rain, rain, and more rain, 2015 was a challenging year for cleanups!  Numerous long standing cleanups simply didn’t happen or were postponed for 2016. Considering the difficult weather conditions, our impressive numbers point towards the resilience of the program; it was another successful year for Rivers Alive. We include your successes in our year in review and annual report which are used for promoting the statewide program and for soliciting donations that cover costs of volunteer recognition such as the Rivers Alive t-shirts for cleanup organizers. . 

If you have not done so, please submit your final tally for your completed cleanups! If you have any questions, please give us a call at 404-651-8513 or email us at

Do You Have T-shirts Left Over From Your Cleanup?

Please return extra shirts to the Rivers Alive state office so we can distribute them to other cleanup organizers who can use them for upcoming spring and summer events! Our address is 2 MLK Jr. Dr. SE, Suite 1462 East, Atlanta, GA 30334. If you have any questions, you can always reach us at or 404-651-8513.


Plan Your Spring Cleanup Event

Rivers need our help year round! As we bundle up and brave this winter's weather, let's think forward and start to plan your spring Rivers Alive cleanup event! Register your cleanup on the Rivers Alive website now to quickly and easily promote your upcoming cleanup. The Organizers page of the website is a great place to begin if this is your first cleanup or your twentieth! It includes guidance for coordinating your cleanup as well as materials to use on your event day. Volunteer waiver forms and sign in sheets, tally forms and talking points can be downloaded and printed for your use along with additional promotional materials that can be personalized for your event.

Want to take your cleanup to the next level? The Education page offers activities and ideas that go beyond picking up trash and give your volunteers more information on watersheds, non-point source pollution, and recycling.

Unique Partnership Fights ‘Frat Beach Litter’ during GA/FL Game Weekend
by Lea King-Badyna, Executive Director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful


For so many fans the annual Georgia Florida Game weekend is a positive and fun part of the fall season.  Unfortunately, in Glynn County, the GA-FL weekend has created a frustrating problem for beach lovers craving clean beaches and waterways for a number of years.  Sadly, each year the day before the annual football matchup, over 12,000 football fans descend on a tiny portion of St. Simons beach---known on this infamous day each year as “Frat Beach”--- and in their wake leave literally tons of trash on the beach and in the ocean.  This year in April a partnership was formed to prepare for controlling the influx of partiers for this 2015 game. Joining Glynn County, UGA Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful (KGIB) created a plan to actively encourage litter prevention in the Stash Your Trash public awareness anti-litter campaign surrounding the yearly Georgia/Florida football weekend. KGIB leads the charge in media outreach for the Stash Your Trash effort and assists MAREX/GA SG in their efforts on the actual Athens campus in preparation prior to the game weekend. KGIB distributed over 2,000 flyers with the Stash Your Trash messaging to hotels and condo units on St. Simons Island for inclusion in guest rooms.

In an effort to reduce plastic foam litter left on the beach and in the ocean, in 2014 KGIB began an annual “cooler switch out” with Parker’s Convenience Stores. Students attending the Georgia-Florida weekend are able to switch out their plastic foam coolers for nifty UGA-themed cardboard recyclable coolers instead. This program is hugely popular and gained much social media coverage – with one KGIB switch out post reaching 12,000+ individuals. In 2015 KGIB continued the cooler switch out with coolers from Parkers again as well as coolers donated by Pratt Industries. Glynn County also utilized KGIB’s 100 offsite recycle bins directly on the beach, encouraging students to use the provided receptacles along with regular trash cans. At the County’s request, KGIB also recruited and placed volunteers at four critical areas to collect trash at the end of the Frat Beach activity. As visitors poured from the beaches--- again leaving litter along their way---KGIB volunteers worked for several hours in parks and parking lots to recover trash, thereby allowing County Public Works personnel to concentrate on cleaning up as much of the beach as possible before nightfall. Assisting Glynn County in its efforts to clean up after Frat Beach, KGIB organized and recruited volunteers for the annual game day Georgia/Florida Football Weekend Community Beach Sweep. For the Friday GA/FL beach gathering, 64 KGIB volunteers worked a combined 144.5 hours to remove 750 pounds of trash and 144 pounds of recyclables and 6.5 grocery bags of cigarette butts from nearby parks and parking lots. The trash was primarily comprised of aluminum cans.  During the GA/FL beach gathering, KGIB volunteers distributed 200 pocket ashtrays to reduce cigarette litter in the beach sand. 

KGIB also organized and recruited volunteers for the 8th annual game day Georgia/Florida Football Weekend Community Beach Sweep on Saturday. These 118 volunteers worked 165 combined hours and picked up 590 pounds of trash and one grocery bag of cigarette butts from the beach.

Beginning with the 2015 Frat Beach gathering, Glynn County officials also began enforcing a “ZERO Tolerance” and a “Pro-enforcement” policy for managing the massive crowd. This partnership has created a pro-active way to protect vulnerable beaches and waterways in large public events.

 Lea King-Badyna assumed the position of executive director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful in December, 2013. Prior to joining KGIB, Lea worked on the Communications Team for UGA Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant.  Lea worked with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources / Coastal Resources Division for a decade. One of her duties was organizing the annual CoastFest events - the state's largest outdoor celebration of Georgia's coastal, natural, historical and cultural resources. 

A Big Thanks to All of our 2015 Sponsors for Your Support of our Waterway Cleanup Program!

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 below. 

Major Corporate Sponsors

Georgia Power |  The Coca-Cola Company  |  Oglethorpe Power  

Perdue Farms |  Golder Associates | Georgia Association of Water Professionals

Southwire CompanyEPS  |  Enterprise Holdings Foundation  |  Jones Day

 Storm Water Systems  | Alston+Bird  | NewFields | Dalton Utilities 

Black & Veatch | Sutherland | GE Power & Water | Shaw Industries

Additional Support From:

MEAG Power | Burns & McDonnell Foundation

Premier Industrial Services | Trinity Consultants

 If you would like to sponsor Rivers Alive in 2016, please find more information on our Sponsorship pageRivers Alive uses 100% of donations to support cleanup organizers and recognize volunteers for their hard work removing trash from miles of waterways across Georgia.

Rivers Alive is a program of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Outreach Program.        404-463-1511

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.