River Cleanup

Time to Sweep the Hooch


Volunteers Steve St. Laurent, Kathy Scheulin, Angela Greene and Stacy Duke unload assorted trash from a canoe at last year’s spring Chattahoochee River cleanup. 

Volunteers in boats will be hauling garbage out of the Chattahoochee River on April 12 as part of the annual “Sweep the Hooch” cleanup event.

Chattahoochee Bend State Park in western Coweta is one of 27 cleanup sites along the river. The cleanup is hosted by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the National Park Service. Around 600 volunteers are expected to clean up 60 miles of river.

There are a few river cleanup spots available, said Greg Hyde, River Committee chairman for the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend.

“We had started out limiting it to 30 boats and I think at last count we have about 26 boats signed up,” Hyde said. They may expand the event to include more people, though, he said. The park has a limited number of canoes and Nucanoes that can be used by volunteers who don’t have their own boats.

Volunteers who don’t get on the water can help with the event after the river portion of the cleanup, said Hyde, by weighing trash and getting it hauled away, cleaning boats and getting everything back in order.

Last year, there was also a “walking cleanup” along the park’s River Trail, but it’s pretty clear at present so it’s been decided not to do the walking cleanup, Hyde said.

Volunteers must pre-register at www.sweepthehooch.org. The registration deadline is April 9.

If the event is full at Chattahoochee Bend, there are other locations to choose from.

Volunteers at Chattahoochee Bend will meet at 9 a.m. on April 12 at the boat ramp, and be shuttled to the upper put-in.

There have been discussions in the past of trying to clean a different section of the river along the park boundaries, but the logistics of that are complicated.

“We’re going to stick with this one,” Hyde said, but maybe in the future they’ll work on doing a cleanup downriver. The trip from the Hwy. 16 bridge to the park is too long, Hyde said.

For more information, visit www.sweepthehooch.org, www.chattahoochee.org or www.bendfriend.com .

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