KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful is hosting four cleanups beginning in October, which is Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month.

The cleanups will take place in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky along the Tennessee River in places that have been impacted by flooding and/or tornados in recent years. Those who volunteer will receive gear from both KTNRB and from Oris, which has given a $15,000 sponsorship to the nonprofit.

“Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month is always a big difference-making campaign, and we’re proud to have an international, water quality-minded company like Oris demonstrating leadership to others for this important cause,” said Kathleen Gibi, KTNRB Executive Director.

During the cleanups, volunteers will go out on five 30-foot boats to clean shorelines known to have a lot of litter. Three of the boats are being provided by Living Lands & Waters (LL&W), a national nonprofit that cleans North American rivers. The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Nobody Trashes Tennessee campaign is covering the cost of contracting LL&W to participate in the cleanups in Tennessee while the TVA is covering the costs for the cleanups in Mississippi and Kentucky.

The date and location of the cleanups are as follows:

  • Saturday, Oct. 1 Knoxville, TN | Fort Loudoun Lake
  • Sunday, Oct. 2 Chattanooga, TN | Chickamauga Lake
  • Friday, Oct. 21 Hardin, TN/Iuka, MS | Pickwick Lake
  • Saturday, Oct. 22 Benton, KY | Kentucky Lake

Volunteers can register at www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/upcomingcleanups.

In 2021, 42 employees from Oris’ North American office pulled out 4,280 lbs. of trash during a KTNRB cleanup.

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with KTNRB as part of Oris’ Change For The Better Initiative,” said V.J. Geronimo, Oris CEO North America. “By partnering for four cleanups in 2022, we want to do our part to help keep the Tennessee River Beautiful!”

Those who are unable to join a cleanup can help protect the Tennessee River by making a pledge during KTNRB’s #Pledge4Rivers campaign in October. This program launched during COVID and the pledges made in 2021 alone stopped 16,432 single-use items from becoming waste. To make a pledge, visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/pledge4rivers.

“We love celebrating this month because it brings individuals, groups, organizations, elected officials, and even international companies together in prioritizing our precious river,” said Gibi. “Our slogan is ‘Your River. Your Impact.’ and it’s true—when it comes to our waterways, you get what you give, so it’s inspiring to see so many taking the right steps.”

Gibi said that these cleanups will help KTNRB reach its 115,000-pound goal for the year. For more information on Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month, go to www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/ktnrwb-month.