Renew Our Rivers kicks off fall season of cleanups in Alabama

Renew Our Rivers kicks off fall season of cleanups in Alabama
Volunteers are turning out in large numbers to help clean up Alabama's waterways in the this, the 20th anniversary of Renew Our Rivers. (Wynter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

Football season is underway but fall also brings the second half of the Renew Our Rivers cleanup schedule.

So far this year, volunteers have removed more than 164,000 pounds of trash and debris from Alabama lakes and rivers.

The Renew Our Rivers program began in the spring of 2000 with Gene Phifer’s vision to clean a stretch of the Coosa River near Alabama Power’s Plant Gadsden, where he worked at the time.

Since then, more than 117,000 volunteers have joined the effort and collected more than 15.5 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast. In 2018 alone, 4,000 volunteers removed more than 268,000 pounds of trash from Alabama lakes, rivers and shorelines.

“Now that summer is coming to an end, the Renew Our River campaign is getting back into full swing,” said Mike Clelland, an Alabama Power Environmental Affairs specialist who helps coordinate the cleanups. “We hope people will consider coming out and joining us in the 10 cleanups between now and November.”

The next cleanups are Sept. 12 on Smith Lake and Village Creek in Jefferson County. The last cleanup of the year is Nov. 1-2 on Lake Martin.

Renew Our Rivers is one of many initiatives in which Alabama Power partners with others to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in communities across the state. Please see below the 2019 schedule of Renew Our Rivers cleanups. For updates to the schedule, please visit

Schedule of remaining 2019 cleanups and contacts:


Sept. 12: Smith Lake (Winston County)

Contact: Jim Eason

[email protected]


Sept. 12-14: Village Creek

Contact: Yohance Owens 205-798-0087


Sept. 20: Smith Lake (Cullman County)

Contact: Jim Murphy 205-529-5981

Renew Our Rivers will hold a number of cleanups in the weeks ahead. (Wynter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

Sept. 28: Valley Creek



Oct. 4-5: Lake Demopolis

Contact: Jesse Johnson

334-289-6160 or 251-238-1257

Oct. 15: Dog River (Mobile County)

Contact: Catie Boss

251-829-2146 or [email protected]


Oct. 22-24: Lake R.L. Harris
(Tallapoosa River-Lake Wedowee)

Contact: Sheila Smith 205-396-5093

Marlin Glover 770-445-0824


Oct. 26: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)

Contact: Dale Vann 205-910-3713


Oct. 28-Nov. 2: Neely Henry Lake (Coosa River)

Contact: Lisa Dover 256-549-0900


Nov. 1-2: Lake Martin (Tallapoosa River)

Contact: John Thompson

334-399-3289 or [email protected]

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