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How you can help clean up Lake Lanier with Sweep the Hooch 2020
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Meredith Wood, 20, a student at Georgia Tech, picks up a plastic bottle during Sweep the Hooch at Lake Lanier Olympic Park on Saturday, April 6, 2019. The event is put on by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. - photo by Austin Steele

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is inviting people of all ages to don their river-ready clothes for its 10th annual Sweep the Hooch event.  

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 29, volunteers can help pick up trash in their watershed by wading, paddling or walking along the Chattahoochee River. The cleanup encompasses 40 locations and 100 miles, from the headwaters above Lake Lanier to West Point Lake. 

Mallory Pendleton, headwaters outreach coordinator, said those in Hall County are close to the northern sites including Don Carter State ParkLongwood Park and Lake Lanier Olympic Park

Last year, 1,100 volunteers gathered 32 tons of trash and tires from and along the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries, according to a statement from Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. 

“Despite all the success we’ve had in past years, trash continues to plague the Chattahoochee River,” Tammy Bates, the nonprofit’s outings manager, said in a press release. “So much depends on the health of this waterway, so supporting cleanups like Sweep the Hooch along with CRK’s other water quality projects is absolutely vital.” 

Although registration for Sweep the Hooch has closed, Pendleton said spaces are still available in the headwaters region. To volunteer, reach out to Bates via tbates@chattahoochee.org

Once people register, Pendleton said they will be guided to select a Sweep the Hooch location. Each volunteer will receive a pair of gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer and water bottles from Chattahoochee Riverkeeper when they begin the cleanup.  

Pendleton said participants will be required to bring and wear their own masks and adhere to a 6-foot distance between others.  

Julia Regeski, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s communications manager, encourages those unable to attend this year’s event to “sweep” from home by fundraising or donating toward their favorite site along the Chattahoochee River. All funds will go toward supporting the organization’s river cleanup efforts. 

So far, $9,401 of the nonprofit’s $10,000 goal has been raised. To donate, visit app.mobilecause.com/vf/SWEEP

“This is our biggest cleanup event of the year,” Pendleton said. “We all come together to clean up the river we truly depend on. It's a community event to show we’re all stewards of our river.” 

For more information, visit chattahoochee.org/sweep-the-hooch/

 

Sweep the Hooch 

What: 10th annual Chattahoochee River cleanup event 

When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 29 

Where: At 40 sites along the Chattahoochee River 

To volunteer: Email tbates@chattahoochee.org 

To donate: app.mobilecause.com/vf/SWEEP 

More info: chattahoochee.org/sweep-the-hooch/ 

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