Now is the time to sign up for the Clinch River Clean Up

Volunteers remove litter from the bank of the Clinch River during Big Cleanup 2018.
Some places remain on the 100-member volunteer team for this summer’s seventh annual Big Clinch River Cleanup on Saturday, July 13—anyone who’d like to help remove trash from this beautiful stream can sign up at

For news organizations, now’s a good time to plan for coverage of this communitywide outdoor event.

There’s an unusual twist this year: scuba divers.

As in past years, most volunteers will be walking, wading, paddling or working from powerboats to remove trash from the Clinch and its banks. This year for the first time, two scuba divers have volunteered (conditions permitting) to locate trash in deep water and attach it to grappling hooks for hauling to the surface.

Big Cleanup starts at 8 a.m. with the traditional free full breakfast at the scenic Museum of Appalachia, 2819 Andersonville Highway, Norris. The cleanup will wrap up at midday.

Everyone who enjoys the Clinch is invited to help remove litter from the river and its banks. Volunteers work in several ways:

• Above the water line, workers walk along riverside roads and through parking areas, gathering trash.

• Volunteers wearing waders patrol for litter in shallow water.

• In kayaks and canoes, volunteers work to clean shorelines and shallow water where there is no public access by road.

• In powerboats and driftboats, volunteers haul tires and other items from the depths.

Support for all the teams is supplied by volunteering ham radio operators, tire disposal professionals and workers with trucks who collect and dispose of filled trash bags.

Breakfast at the picturesque museum is provided via a grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

To sign up, please visit and click on Big Cleanup Registration.

For more information, contact Rusty Hallett at or (859) 227-1227, or Dave Easter at or (865) 360-0339.

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

Clinch River Chapter TU works to preserve and protect the Clinch River tailwater and its watershed through conservation projects and through education of children and adults in aquatic natural resources.

Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month in the parish hall at St. Francis Episcopal Church, Norris, except when outdoor activities are scheduled.