Soldiers, families, and partner organizations gathered at the Uchee Creek Marina October 14 during the Fort Benning Help the Hooch river cleanup event.
The Fort Benning Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch hosted the annual event, bringing out local volunteers to work together and make a difference by cleaning up the Chattahoochee River.
“We estimate over 130 bags of trash were collected during our event. By volume, we estimate 25 cubic yards of trash was removed from the local Chattahoochee River watershed. Plastic bottles and aluminum cans were the most frequently recovered items,” said Zachary Sertell, Program Manager, Environmental Management Division, Directorate of Public Works. “Other frequently found items included abandoned camping and boating equipment, fishing gear, and car tires. In fact, we recovered 31 tires and recycled about 500 pounds of metal recovered from our cleanup sites.”
The day reminded the participant that keeping the watershed free of trash is important.
Volunteers received free pizza for lunch and T-shirts for their efforts to help protect our watershed by cleaning up the Hooch.
"I saw this as an opportunity. I thought, ‘Why not help out?’ Besides, when I first got here, I saw the Chattahoochee and thought it was beautiful, and I did see trash in it,” said Sgt. Rachel Schwartz, a combat medic with the 197 Infantry Brigade, 3rd Battalion 54th Infantry Regiment. "I encourage military and civilians – anybody who wants to go ahead and make a difference – to come out. Doing the small thing really matters… coming out here and meeting new people and making the world better."