Over the course of three days earlier this January, volunteers removed 9,208 pounds of trash from the Tennessee River, one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. In 2019, researchers stated that the 652-mile river was more like a river of plastic, and it could very well be the body of water with more broken down bits of plastic than any other river in the world. "That's how the change for our river will happen: through local partners and individuals who are eager about taking ownership to protect and improve their beautiful river community," said Kathleen Gibi, executive director of Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful. "It's been truly inspiring for us to see these change makers take action."

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