Renew Our Rivers celebrates 20th year

In February, Renew Our Rivers will kick off its 20th year of lake and river cleanups. More than 30 cleanups are planned in 2019 across Alabama.

Renew Our Rivers began in the spring of 2000 with Gene Phifer’s vision to clean a stretch of the Coosa River near Alabama Power’s Plant Gadsden, where he worked. Since then, more than 117,000 volunteers have joined the effort and collected more than 15.5 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast.

"As we begin the 20th year of Renew Our Rivers, it’s time to celebrate this environmental success story. And what better way than with more cleanups,” said Mike Clelland, an Alabama Power Environmental Affairs specialist who helps coordinate the cleanups.

Employees and volunteers assist Clelland and other community partners at every Renew Our Rivers cleanup. In 2018 alone, 4,000 volunteers removed more than 268,000 pounds of trash from Alabama lakes, rivers and shorelines.

“The commitment by Alabama Power employees to Renew Our Rivers continues to grow,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power’s vice president for Environmental Affairs. “But it is the Renew Our Rivers partnerships, which bring together our employees with homeowner and boat owner organizations, community volunteers, students and other groups, that have made this effort truly sustainable.”

Renew Our Rivers is one of many initiatives in which Alabama Power partners with others to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in communities across the state. Please see below the 2019 schedule of Renew Our Rivers cleanups. For updates to the schedule, please visit