The Macon Water Authority

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As the number of volunteers increases, so too does the impact of Ocmulgee Alive!

Oct 24, 2011 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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Paul and Tammy Nipper get close up to clean debris from the Ocmulgee River during Macon’s annual river cleanup – the 2011 Ocmulgee Alive!

A record crowd of volunteers rolled up their collective sleeves on October 22, to help clean portions of the Ocmulgee River. All of those involved in the river cleanup could see the positive impact of their work after the successful completion of the seventh annual Ocmulgee Alive!

The 345 participants in the 2011 Ocmulgee Alive! are nearly 10 times the amount of volunteers who worked the first event seven years ago, says Mark Wyzalek, Director of Laboratory/Environmental Compliance for the MWA and an organizer of Ocmulgee Alive! The event was the ninth largest of the 224 Rivers Alive events held throughout Georgia in 2011.

“The Macon Water Authority joined Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful and New Town Macon to plan the first Ocmulgee Alive! about eight years ago,” says Wyzalek. “Our first event had 35 volunteers, but that number has grown tremendously, enabling us to make a significant impact on the cleanliness and water quality of the Ocmulgee.”

The work force volunteering for Macon’s annual river cleanup since that first event also includes employees from YKK, USA, Inc. and Graphic Packaging International, as primary sponsors, as well as volunteers from the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, the Ocmulgee River Initiative, the Georgia Wilderness Society, Mercer University, and others.

Jim Spry, EQA Manager for YKK, says his company has been involved in Ocmulgee Alive! for four years now, noting that the event “is important to YKK because we want to support the community, the Macon Water Authority, and most importantly, our environment.”

Most of what ends up in the Ocmulgee River is trash coming off of the Interstate and area roadways, which is easily preventable, notes Wyzalek. MWA customers can do their part to reduce pollution entering the Ocmulgee and other area waterways by properly disposing of their trash.

Media contact:
Chris Wood, Ph.D.
770-757-1681 (phone)
jcwood@uga.edu (email)

Tagged: macon water authority, ocmulgee alive

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