The Henry County water authority and stormwater department recently said, “Thanks a ton!” to volunteers who helped keep more than 2,000 pounds of trash and debris out of waters feeding the county drinking water supply.

About 30 helpers pulled tires and other trash from a watershed leading to the Tussahaw reservoir in Locust Grove during the annual Rivers Alive cleanup.

Statewide, the outreach program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division targets creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, beaches and wetlands.

“Georgia’s waterways include more than 70,000 miles of streams and rivers,” authority Environmental Compliance Coordinator and local cleanup organizer Tara Brown said in a statement.

She said cleaning them up is important because they provide water for finished drinking water production, recreational opportunities like fishing and canoeing, and natural resources “that add to the quality of life and economic development in the state.”

Brown called this year’s event a success, in part because of county youth becoming aware of and involved in preserving the environment.

“It was great to see young people get involved in helping protect our water supply,” she said.

Some of the teens attend high school at Strong Rock Christian School in Locust Grove, enrolled in an environmental science course designed “to help students appreciate the world God has created for us,” instructor Troy Davis said in a statement.

“This was an opportunity for them to learn more about the importance of water resources in their community, while participating in environmental stewardship to protect these value resources,” he said.

According to its website, the authority opened the 1,466-acre, 9.78-billion gallon Tussahaw reservoir in 2007 as the newest and largest of five reservoirs.

It recently served as the host site for the regional model water towers competition.

Information: www.hcwa.com

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