We all know the negative effects of pollution, but very few take the time to correct it.
That's why thousands of volunteers participate each year in Alabama's Renew Our Rivers Campaign.
Saturday was the first of of twenty clean ups scheduled for this year.
A mass clean up effort is underway for Alabama's rivers and lakes. Alabama Power sponsors the The Renew Our Rivers campaign. In just six years, the program has pulled out more than 1 point seven million pounds of trash from Alabama and Georgia lakes.
Charles Warlitner with the U.S. Coast Guard said, "It benefits the animals because the plastic can kill ducks and fish and families get to be safe and everyone knows Eufaula is a fishing community so if we have lakes all polluted it would take away from the economy."
The Renew our Rivers campaign relies on volunteers to carry out their efforts. Some of the adult volunteers brought their children to teach them the importance of helping others.
Karen Bennett volunteered her time to help and said, "Volunteering is a big deal and its great for the kids to have to do and its important for my kids to know about the water and just want to stop pollution and instill in our kids the importance of voluteering."
Renew Our Rivers organizers say it is unfortunate that not all parents see littering as a problem.
Renew Our Rivers Co-Chair Dugg Ingram said, "It's discouraging to see juice boxes and you know they were trying to do the right thing by bringing their kid fishing, but at the same time their children learned to litter because their parent set a bad example."
Many of the children participating in the clean up say they enjoy the work.
8-year-old Jared Bennett said, "I knew it would be fun and help the clean up the environment and making new friends." 15-year-old Shantia Farmer said, "I wanted to help the community clean up the river."
Last year, volunteers pulled out more than 2-tons of trash from Lake Eufaula. This year their goal is between 4 and 5 tons, that would double last years amount.
The Renew Our Rivers program is always looking for more volunteers to help in its efforts. If you would like to elarn more about the program you can visit their website at www.southerncompany.com and look under the sub-heading Lakes and Recreation.