The Satilla River-Wide Cleanup is an annual tradition in which volunteers gather across the watershed at multiple public landings to remove trash from the river banks. This year, we did things a little differently, but volunteers had a huge impact on the Satilla!
On Saturday, September 19th, over 40 volunteers tackled the trash at 13 different places across the watershed, removing over 1,000 pounds of debris. To keep with social distance guidelines, volunteers gathered in small groups and chose a site anywhere within the watershed to clean up.
Despite being spread out, volunteers picked up similar items at each site. Plastic beverage bottles (432) and beverage cans (402) were the most littered items at all the sites. Some unusual items picked up included 4 televisions, a hospital wrist band, and glow sticks. It’s easy to say “Don’t litter,” but we also need to start thinking bigger:
•What can we do to reduce the amount of waste we produce?
•What do our local communities need to do to make sure the waste we produce is disposed of responsibly?
Satilla Riverkeeper encourages all local governments in our watershed to think about these questions, and consider a thorough revision of their Solid Waste Management Plan. In counties where all residents are required to have curbside trash pick-up, there is no excuse for illegally dumping trash along roadsides or river banks. Trash service at popular public landings also helps reduce the amount of litter at these sites. The Satilla River Water Trail Partnership will continue to advocate for enforcement of littering and dumping fines at river landings, as well.
We extend a HUGE THANK YOU to all the volunteers that dedicated time to cleaning up our shared Satilla, and to Republic Services and Ryland for donating dumpsters to help dispose of the trash properly.