Annual Renew Our Rivers Alabama Power campaign upcoming

Published 4:16 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020

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By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

Alabama Power will soon begin its 21st year of holding the Renew Our Rivers campaign.

The program uses volunteers to help clean up trash around several major waterways across Alabama, including Lay and Mitchell lakes locally.

According to a release from Alabama Power, there are 32 cleanups planned for 2020 spread out between February and November.

The first one locally will be held at Lake Mitchell on March 21. There will be another cleanup day at Lake Mitchell on Oct. 17.

Lay Lake cleanup is set from March 28 to April 4. There will also be a cleanup of Lay Lake at Plant Gaston near Wilsonville April 11.

Mike Clelland, the Renew Our Rivers coordinator, said he expects more volunteers and trash removed in 2020 given how well the effort went last year.

According to the release, “Since 2000, when the program began, 122,000 volunteers have collected almost 16 million pounds from waterways and shorelines in the South. In 2019, more than 5,000 volunteers removed almost 450,000 pounds of trash, including old boats, mattresses, tires, appliances and other unsightly items, a 4% increase over the previous year’s haul.”

“We not only picked up more trash in 2019, we also had more volunteers,” said Clelland, who is an environmental affairs specialist for Alabama Power. “Twenty years in and the enthusiasm and participation remain strong. I fully expect 2020 to be just as successful as 2019, if not more so.”

For a full schedule of Renew Our River cleanups across Alabama in 2020, visit

“Alabama is a beautiful place with extraordinary natural resources,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president for environmental affairs. “Protecting those resources, while providing reliable, affordable electricity for our customers, is at the heart of our company’s mission. The commitment by Alabama Power employees to Renew Our Rivers remains strong, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our community partners across the state who support the effort year after year.”