By Doug Alderson, Apalachicola Riverkeeper Outreach & Advocacy Director

Volunteers for Apalachicola Riverkeeper set a group record in 2021: 362 different volunteers logged in more than 2721 hours on behalf of the river and bay. That is a solid commitment that continues to inspire.

The majority of volunteer activities were cleanups. We continued to cleanup River Landing Park in Chattahoochee on a quarterly basis and are pleased to report that, overall, the amount of trash dropped slightly. We received good publicity and feedback from the local community for our efforts and this may be instilling more awareness among park users. We hope this trend continues in 2022! We are set to return to the park for a cleanup February 12th and will find out. We hope the same can be said of our quarterly cleanups of Second Sandbar across from Pine Log Landing.

We also began monthly cleanups of the Mill Pond area in Apalachicola and we hope our continued presence will also help to reduce the amount of trash we see every month.

Annual cleanups included one on Earth Day, Fourth of July, and the Franklin County Coastal Cleanup September 18th. Ada Long continued her inspiring leadership of the county-wide coastal cleanup and we had an excellent turnout for the effort in 2021.

Other volunteer efforts also included quarterly microplastics sampling, spearheaded by board member Lynn Wilder, along with assistance with outings, office work, water sampling, river patrols, the slough restoration project, pro bono legal work, information booths, and RiverTrek. Most RiverTrek participants and support crew members were volunteers, including organizers and participants in our first send-off concert, and their efforts resulted in a highly successful event.

Scroll down to view just some of 2021’s outstanding Apalachicola Riverkeeper volunteers!

Interested in volunteering for Apalachicola Riverkeeper? Contact me at [email protected].

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