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Sign up for the Clinch River cleanup


Love the Clinch River? Sign up for the Big Clinch River Cleanup!

Your help is needed with the third annual Big Clinch River Cleanup, starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, with a breakfast and briefing for all registered volunteers at the Museum of Appalachia, 2819 Andersonville Highway, Norris. The cleanup will wrap up about 2 p.m.

Everyone who enjoys the river, from anglers to kayakers to wildlife watchers, is invited to help remove litter from the Clinch and its banks. Volunteers will work in teams of walkers, waders, paddlers and powerboaters.

The communitywide cleanup is an expansion of annual pickups run for many years by members of the Clinch River Chapter as part of the chapter's mission to preserve and protect the river. In last year's second Big Cleanup, 105 volunteers and 28 boats gathered tires and trash.

This year, the first 125 volunteers to register will qualify for the free full breakfast -- to sign up, please visit and click on Big Cleanup Registration. It’s very important for volunteers to register in advance, so we’ll be sure to have enough breakfast and so we can pre-plan our attack on debris.

The event will be held rain or shine (in case of severe weather, the breakfast will be held but volunteers will stay on shore).


What Volunteers Can Expect

Volunteers will be provided with gloves, litter grabbers, trash bags, water and snack bars; it’s also advisable to bring along a hat, sunscreen and bug repellent. Several types of work are available:

* From large boats—People in powerboats or driftboats will work in deep water, hauling out tires and other large objects with big hooks on ropes. This is dirty, heavy work that requires strength and a healthy back. Two to three volunteers will work in each boat.

* From paddle boats—People in canoes, kayaks and other small craft will clean along the shoreline by wading in shallow water or going ashore to remove litter trapped by downed trees, snags and gravel bars. The water is cold, so hip boots or knee-high rubber boots are suggested.

* In water on foot—Volunteers with hip boots or waders can join teams wading both sides of Miller Island, from the parking lot downstream to Massengill Bridge, picking up trash in the water and along the adjacent shoreline. The water is cold, so the hip boots or waders are advisable.

* On land—Above the water line, teams will pick up trash along roads and in parking areas. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes or boots are recommended.

* Support—Backing up all the teams will be emergency medical people, ham radio operators, tire disposal professionals and volunteers with trucks who will collect and dispose of filled trash bags.

For more information, contact Buzz Buffington at or (865) 463-7167, or Jim Ferguson at or (865) 494-8081.

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