Renew Our Rivers announces 2017 schedule

Renew Our Rivers is kicking off its 18th year, with 31 cleanups planned across the state in 2017.

Since the program started, about 100,000 volunteers have collected over 14 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast.

Renew Our Rivers began in 2000 with one man, Gene Phifer, who had a vision to improve the health and beauty of the Coosa River near Alabama Power’s Plant Gadsden, where he worked. Thousands of volunteers now participate in cleanups each year, devoting their time and labor to make a difference.

In 2016 alone, 3,652 volunteers removed more than 346,700 pounds of trash from Alabama lakes, rivers and shorelines.

“Every year, people committed to preserving the environment and improving their communities work together to make the Renew Our Rivers program better than the previous year,” said Susan Comensky, vice president of Environmental Affairs at Alabama Power. “Our lakes are getting cleaner each year because these volunteers are so dedicated to making a positive impact. Their commitment is contagious, and inspires even more people to get involved each year.” 

Alabama Power employee volunteers assist at each cleanup, providing guidance and supplies to event organizers. Renew Our Rivers is just one of many initiatives in which Alabama Power partners with others to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in communities across the state.

For an up-to-date listing of Renew Our Rivers cleanups scheduled in 2017, please visit

2017 Renew Our Rivers schedule

Feb. 18: Alabama River
Contact: John-Paul O’Driscoll at 334-358-6749

March 4: Lake Eufaula (Chattahoochee River)
Contact: Brad Moore at 334-616-7888

March 11: Lake Seminole (Chattahoochee River)
Contact: Melanie Rogers at 334-814-4673

March 18: Chattahoochee River (Omusse Creek)
Contact: Melanie Rogers at 334-814-4673

March 25: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)
Contact: Steve Miles at 205-612-2185

March 25 – April 1: Logan Martin Lake (Coosa River)
Contact: Mike Riley at 205-531-2372

April 4-5: Plant Barry (Mobile River)
Contact: Angela Jimmerson at 251-829-2802

April 8: Lay Lake at E.C. Gaston Plant (Coosa River)
Contact: Hagen Kaylor at 205-669-8063

April 22: Lake Jordan (Coosa River)
Contact: Barbara Dreyer at 334-567-7551

April 23-29: Lay Lake (Coosa River)
Contact: Judy Jones at 205-669-4865

April 26-27: Smith Lake (Winston County)
Contact: Allison Cochran at 205-489-5111

April 28: Smith Lake (Cullman County)
Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

May 5: Yates and Thurlow lakes (Tallapoosa River)
Contact: Joel Johnston at 334-283-1054

May 13: Bankhead Lake (Black Warrior River)
Contact: Buck Vines at 205-226-1170

May 15-16: Smith Lake (Walker County)
Contact: Roger Treglown 205-300-5253

May 19: Gorgas Steam Plant (Mulberry Fork)
Contact: Che George at 205-686-2324 or

May 20: Weiss Lake

Aug. 5: Upper Tallapoosa River
Contact: Lex Brown at 256-239-6399

Aug. 5: Holt Lake (Black Warrior River) PENDING
Contact: Ed Cook at 205-331-1365 or

Aug. 17-19: Valley Creek

Aug. 25: Plant Miller (Locust Fork)
Contact: Jeff Baker at 205-408-2033 or

Aug. 26: Neely Henry Lake (Calhoun County)
Contact: Casandra Lewis Maudsley at or 205-472-0481

Sept.15: Smith Lake (Cullman County)
Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

Sept. 14-16: Village Creek
Contact: Yohance Owens at 205-798-0087

Sept. 22-23: Lake Demopolis
Contact: Jesse Johnson at 334-289-6160 or 251-238-1257

Oct. 5: Smith Lake (Winston County)
Contact: Jim Eason at

Oct. 10: Dog River (Mobile County)
Contact: Catie Boss at 251-829-2146 or

Oct. 24-26: R.L. Harris (Tallapoosa River-Lake Wedowee)
Contact: Sheila Smith at 205-396-5093 or Marlin Glover at

Oct. 28: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)
Contact: Steve Miles at 205-612-2185

Oct. 30-Nov.2: Neely Henry Lake (Coosa River)
Contact: Lisa Dover at 256-549-0900

Nov. 3-4: Lake Martin (Tallapoosa River)
Contact: John Thompson at 334-399-3289 or