Wanting to make an impact in 2020? River non-profit has opportunities for you

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HUNTSVILLE,  Ala. - A group called Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful is introducing a new adopt a storm drain program in hopes of helping people come up with New Year's resolutions.

The program is free and participants will receive free cleaning supplies along with t-shirts, water bottles, and other items if they choose to make a difference.

All you have to do is adopt a storm drain and clean them of litter once a month.

That is no small task. To see a map of storm drains click here. You can zoom in to see just how many storm drains your area has.

(Photo: City of Huntsville Website)

All that trash you see around the drains goes somewhere. After 17 cleanups hosted in 2019 by Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, 434 volunteers helped to remove over 48,000 pounds of trash from the Tennessee River watershed.

When it rains, trash makes its way from land to water. It happens faster than you think.

"The recreation industry alone on the Tennessee River generates 12 billion dollars a year. So it shows people want to be on the water because it's pretty. If we've got litter floating around. It's not going to be as pretty and desirable," said Kathleen Gibi of Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful.

To register to Adopt a Storm Drain, please visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/stormdrain.

The organization also has an adopt a river mile program. The Tennessee River flows 652 miles. Roughly 40 miles have been adopted so far.

To register for the Adopt a River Mile program, visit www.KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/adopt.

According to Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, it's estimated that 80 percent of the litter in our waterways is originally dumped on land.