Volunteers work to keep waterways clean around CSRA

Monday, November 18, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

It's a scene that's getting all too familiar with volunteers: trash, garbage, and plastic scattered throughout our local waterways and watersheds. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's a scene that's getting all too familiar with volunteers: trash, garbage, and plastic scattered throughout our local waterways and watersheds.

This year, the River's Alive program has collected more than 330,000 pounds of garbage across the state of Georgia's 70,000 miles of rivers and streams.

"I'm just always amazed that every year there's as much garbage as we always pick up," Ruth Mead, the education director at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, said.

Even the waste that isn't tossed right into the rivers can still have an impact.
"Everything washes with the rain down to the creek," Mead said. "Our smaller creeks lead to our bigger creeks which leads to our rivers and our rivers lead to our estuaries and our oceans."

Things like ties and fishing line aren't something that can be easily broken down. Which means they can sit and pollute our environment for decades to come.

This could lead local wildlife being harmed.

"We could lose biodiversity by having polluted waterways our population only continues to grow and to be able to live on this planet we have to take care of it," Mead said.

But this isn't something that just effects the environment it can effect your health too.

"The plastics break down and then we have a lot of micro plastics in the waters, this is our drinking water source, so someone down stream is picking it up," Mead said.

Plastics that don't reach you will eventually reach the ocean where it wreaks havoc on marine life.

So the next time you're out for a walk and see some trash pick it up and toss it right into the trash can. And always remember to never dump in the river and go to your local landfill instead.

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