The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

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MWA hosting 10th annual Ocmulgee Alive!

Sep 29, 2014 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.


This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ocmulgee Alive! Macon’s annual river cleanup will be held on Saturday Oct. 4, 2014.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ocmulgee Alive! Macon’s annual river cleanup will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The public is invited to join the Macon Water Authority (MWA) and its environmental stewardship partners in an attempt to again make this year’s event one of the largest Rivers Alive affiliated cleanups in the state of Georgia. In 2013, the Georgia Association of Water Professionals selected Ocmulgee Alive! as the best public education event in the state, hosted by a water utility.

Volunteers who do not have a pre-designated area to clean should meet at Rotary Park, located on Riverside Drive near First Street in downtown Macon, by 8:15 a.m. on the morning of the event. Groups can also sign up to clean a specific location by contacting Mark Wyzalek, MWA Director of Laboratory/Environmental Compliance, who is an organizer of the cleanup. Last year’s Ocmulgee Alive! brought out more than 350 people who cleaned approximately 2 miles of the river and nearby streams.

Ocmulgee Alive! is an official event of the statewide Rivers Alive campaign, which was created by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Outreach Program. Rivers Alive is a statewide volunteer effort to increase awareness of and involvement in the protection and preservation of Georgia’s waterways.

The Ocmulgee River – along with the Authority’s Javors Lucas Lake – serves as a primary source for drinking water for MWA customers. In addition, the Ocmulgee is a popular destination for outdoor recreation. As a result, it’s critically important to protect the water quality in this major water resource for MWA customers and surrounding communities in Middle Georgia, say Authority officials.

“Keeping the Ocmulgee River clean to assure its water quality remains ideal for drinking water production is among the highest priorities of the Macon Water Authority,” says Wyzalek. “We all need to be mindful that whatever is thrown on the ground will likely end up in our water resources.”

What started 10 years ago as a river cleanup by a handful of people has turned into one of the largest collection of volunteers for a Rivers Alive event in the state, notes Wyzalek. But one thing that hasn’t changed in the 10 years since Macon’s first annual river cleanup is the Authority’s concern for the health of the Ocmulgee River.

YKK USA, Graphic Packaging International, and Coca-Cola Refreshments again are serving as the event’s premier sponsors, while the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful are assisting the MWA in assembling volunteers and handling logistics for the event.

In addition to the event hosts and sponsors, participating organizations include the National Park Service/Ocmulgee National Monument, which held its own creek cleanup on Sept. 6, as a precursor to this year’s Ocmulgee Alive! Additional participants in the upcoming river cleanup include the Historic Riverside Cemetery Conservancy, Georgia Wilderness Society, Mount de Sales Academy, Tattnall Square Academy, the Academy for Classical Education, the Middle Georgia Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Macon-Bibb Cooperative Extension.

One of the great things about Macon’s annual river cleanup, adds Wyzalek, is that the positive results are clearly visible, which inspires volunteers who can see an immediate payoff for their efforts.

“Ocmulgee Alive is an example of what our community can accomplish when we come together with a common goal to protect our natural resources and water quality,” says Wyzalek.

Volunteers taking part in the river cleanup should wear boots or similar sturdy footwear, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, a hat and sunscreen, and bring heavy duty work gloves, insect repellant, water or similar liquid to drink, and if possible, a tool to pick up trash. A specially designed 10th Anniversary Ocmuglee Alive! t-shirt will be provided for volunteers who pre-register for the event.

More information, including a copy of the registration form and medical release/liability waiver, is available at the link below, or by contacting the Authority’s Mark Wyzalek at 478-464-5678 or

Media contacts:

Chris Wood, Ph.D.
770-757-1681 (phone) OR (email)

Kris Hattaway
478-464-5623 (office) or 478-951-7039 (cell) (email)

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Tagged: macon water authority, mwa, ocmulgee alive, ocmulgee heritage trail, keep maconbibb beautiful, ykk usa, graphic packaging international, cocacola refreshments, national park serviceocmulgee national monument, historic riverside cemetery conservancy, georgia wilderness society, mount de sales academy, tattnall academy, academy for classical education, middle georgia chapter of trout unlimited, maconbibb cooperative extension

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