Rivers Alive

About the Program

Rivers Alive is Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event that targets all waterways in the state including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches, and wetlands. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. Rivers Alive is held annually each fall and is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Environmental Protection Division's Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Program and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' Keep Georgia Beautiful Program, in cooperation with Help the Hooch.

Georgia's 70,150 miles of streams and rivers need your help. Our waterways provide us with fresh drinking water and great recreational opportunities like canoeing and fishing, and they serve as a pleasant respite from our busy day to day lives. This is your opportunity to help protect one of our most precious resources. Help us clean our rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands by joining in support of Rivers Alive.

Thank you to our past volunteers who come from all walks of life - nonprofit organizations, corporations, community and civic groups, school groups, faith-based groups, individuals, governmental agencies, and others.

History of Rivers Alive

Initiated by Curtis Farrar, a past DNR Board member, the idea of a river clean-up event was conceived in the early 1990s, with the first clean-up being organized by the DNR Wildlife Division in 1992. This statewide clean-up focused attention on the Oconee, Ocmulgee, Satila, and Alapaha watersheds. In 1993, organization of the clean-up was divided among the various divisions within DNR: Wildlife Resources, Environmental Protection, Coastal, and Water Resources.

In the mid 1990s, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream became the lead program spearheading the annual river clean-up. It is important to note that throughout the 90s, other government and non-government organizations also conducted clean-up events at different times of the year, focusing on particular regions or watersheds within the state. At that time, there was no collaboration between government and non-governmental organizations.

In 1999, a significant change occurred. The various clean-up organizations throughout the state unified for the first time to form Rivers Alive. The rationale was that there would be many advantages to forming a single, unified clean-up: the primary advantage being the solicitation of private donations from corporations to support our cleanup organizers and volunteers.

For the past 10 years, Rivers Alive has seen tremendous growth. Its success is a direct result of the event organizers from across the state who take the time to arrange a clean-up and the Rivers Alive Advisory Board who put in countless hours assisting the program to make it successful. Continued success of the Rivers Alive program is dependent on a strong volunteer base that is concerned about and prepared to take action to clean and protect their local waterways.

For more information, visit Rivers Alive.