The Cahaba River Society’s Big Cahaba Cleanup, scheduled for June 8, was cancelled due to the threat of severe weather.
The organization’s cleanup was to be its most ambitious, according to a release, with over 200 volunteers agreeing to scour trash from the Cahaba River from Trussville to Helena.
“As disappointing as this cancellation is, the safety of our volunteers is our top priority,” said Education Director Gordon Black. “Our volunteers are deeply committed, and if this were just a question of a little rain, they would be out there wearing rain coats. But we are looking at severe thunderstorms which will cause rising water levels, conditions which will not be safe for working in and around the River.”
According to the organization, the same storm system that is forcing the cancellation of the Big Cahaba Cleanup will also increase the amount of trash in the Cahaba.
“The takeaway from this situation is that the heavy rains will wash even more litter off of parking lots, roads, and surrounding areas,” said Executive Director Beth Stewart. “This trash will run into storm drains and then straight into the River. It is as important as ever to share our anti-lettering message. Litter has a direct effect on wildlife and the quality and cost of our drinking water, and we can do something about that by reusing, reducing waste, and recycling.”
The organization plans to move forward with the public education portion of the cleanup. They have already run a series of anti-litter radio advertisements in the metro area and released the first two installments in a series of short, educational videos about litter pollution.
More video installments are underway as well as educational outreach in concert with cities and counties in the watershed.
“The most important message that we want people to know, is simple,” Black states. “Don’t litter, it ends up in your River.”
Cahaba River Society will also continue to organize many individual cleanup projects with businesses, schools, churches and other community groups throughout 2019, with plans to hold a bigger Big Cahaba Cleanup in Spring of 2020.
To learn more about the Cahaba, , visit CahabaRiverSociety.org.