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River clean-ups planned on Amicalola, Etowah
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Two events are planned within the next week to celebrate October as Clean Water month in Dawson County.

Keep Dawson County Beautiful invites the community out to the Amicalola River bridge on Hwy. 53, west of Dawsonville, for a river clean-up Saturday morning.

Volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. at the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management access, at
7074 Hwy. 53 West.

Organizer Kristi Hudson, the group's executive director, said removing pollutants from local waterways helps everyone by protecting drinking water for humans and animals, preserving animal habitats and maintaining open waterways that allow for fishing, kayaking and other water-related recreation.

Kayakers and canoers are also encouraged to participate.

After the clean up along the banks of the Amicalola River, lunch will be served to all volunteers.

A second clean-up is planned for 10 a.m. on the Etowah River Oct. 14, according to Doris Cook, with Etowah Water and Sewer Authority.

"Water is essential for life. It is the one thing we cannot live without. Our whole life revolves around water," said Doris Cook, with Etowah Water and Sewer Authority.

Now in its 16th year, the authority invites volunteers to join in the crusade to clean one of Dawson County's vital water sources.

"I think people don't realize that once it makes its way to the water that it doesn't wash on down the river," she said.

In the past, volunteers have pulled tires, a phone booth and a safe, in addition to the everyday trash, like fast food wrappers, cigarette butts and plastic bags, that land or floats along the banks.

"Part of Etowah's role is really to educate people about what can be done, and it's simple things," she said. "There are lots of things, and one is to just be conscious."

For more information, call Keep Dawson County Beautiful at (706) 344-3501 or Etowah Water and Sewer Authority at (706) 216-8474.