The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2017
What: Current Problems first organized the Great Suwannee River Cleanup in 2009. The cleanup encompasses the Suwannee River and it's surrounding areas, including tributaries, the Withlacoochee River, the Santa Fe River, and the Alapaha River. It also includes the coastal regions of the Suwannee River, such as Shired Island and Little Pine Island in the Gulf of Mexico. To date, we have collected a total of 99,527 pounds of trash during this cleanup - let's pull together and break 100,000 this year!

Why:

When: Participating parties can choose dates that work for them between the months of September 2017 and November 2017.

How:

The Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup 2017
If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out online: http://tinyurl.com/zaoonhf

Hello Friends of the Suwannee Basin Springs and Rivers,

Suwannee Basin cleanup season is upon us once again! We hope you will join Current Problems for this 8th Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup. Last year, we were hoping to reach 100,000 pounds of trash removed from the water, but we did not succeed in doing that. We will certainly make it this year; we only have 473 pounds to go!

We do need lots of you to register and join in the cleanup. Gather your friends, relatives, fellow workers, or club members and sign up for a section along the Suwannee or another river in the basin. At the end of the season, we will have a wrap-up event for all to celebrate our accomplishment. Date and location to be announced later, but it will likely be in the beginning of December 2017. We hope you will participate this year and help us reach that 100,000 pound goal and more!

As in the past, this project will consist of many small cleanups all along the rivers during a three-month window from September through November. If some of you need to schedule for late August or early December, that’s fine too.

You may volunteer to work on the Suwannee or any other river in the basin -- the Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee, or even Alapaha. This year we would also like to add something new that may appeal to some of you. We have been made aware that some of the islands north of the town of Suwannee are pretty trashed, especially with plastics, which are so dangerous to wildlife. After a pilot cleanup on Little Pine Island in March, we added Shired Island to last year's cleanup. Consider signing up for one of these coastal islands. We are hoping the air boat community will join in on this effort as well as others. Of course, most people will prefer to work in other places closer to home along one of the rivers, but the coast is close to home for some of you. If you know of a place that needs some serious attention, please let us know about it—or better yet, sign up for it yourself. The plastics situation is not going to get better anytime soon. We need to start tackling this problem. Please feel free to choose a section anywhere to your liking. For those participating, we will continue to coordinate registration, help with publicity, and provide supplies as we have the last six years.

Except for the Ichetucknee, we have designated the sections of the rivers by mile post. You must sign up for one or more of these sections as designated . This prevents overlaps and confusion. You may also sign up for one of the hot spots as we identify them or one that you know of needing work. These could be islands in a river, ramps, bridges, spring runs or other places that have accumulated a lot of trash.

We want as many local groups of people out on the water as possible. So please forward this e-mail on to anyone at all that you think might be interested. Help us spread the word. And please consider committing to a section of the Suwannee River or one of its tributaries. Look at our spreadsheet to see what is covered so far.

We are also looking for sponsors to cover the cost of supplies, and many other expenses. It takes a lot of money to conduct the event. Perhaps this is how you can be part of the cleanup. Or maybe you could offer to bring your power boat or a trailer full of canoes to help out at a particular cleanup.

If your group would like to register for one or more sections of the rivers (from one boat ramp to the next), please register online. It’s very simple. Just fill in the boxes below, hit “submit,” and you’re all set. Repeat for another section, if you are taking more than one. Having trouble viewing the form or filling it out? Go to the website at the top of the page. You may also view a spreadsheet to see what sections are taken and who to contact if you would like to join in that particular cleanup. The spreadsheet link is http://tinyurl.com/j5bntft

Each local group is free to decide how best to run their respective cleanup. Use canoes, kayaks, power boats, airboats, or a combination of some sort. You know what will work best for you on your stretch of river. Recruit a bunch of volunteers, choose a date and let me know when it is, and coordinate your trash disposal (whether you get a dumpster to use or haul it off to your nearest collection center). For any aspect of the cleanup, we will be more than glad to offer suggestions or advice if it is wanted. Give me a call and I will do my best to help. Some of our planning committee members may also be able to assist you with your questions and planning, as well, because they may be more familiar with your area. And please let us know what supplies you will need, such as grabbers, nets, or scales. We will also have plenty of bags to provide for all cleanups.

Each cleanup group will weigh the trash collected from their section of the river and then report the figure to Current Problems. We will also need to know the number of volunteers who participated and how many hours your group worked. We will keep a record of your achievements, and our totals will eventually be included in the International Coastal Cleanup and National River Cleanup totals as well. Photos are always appreciated, too.

Should you wish to discuss this further, or if you have any questions at all, please call me at 352-215-7554 or e-mail aar@currentproblems.org. We are looking forward to another successful cleanup event with a large number of the Suwannee River Basin’s residents participating.

Remember to use the link at the top of the page if you cannot successfully submit the form below. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you so much.

Fritzi Olson

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Cleanup on the Santa Fe in 2015
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