Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke signed a proclamation earlier this month declaring October "Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month" thanks to intervention from the local "Conservation Kid."
Cash Daniels, 10, was in Knoxville to receive a statewide award last month naming the local resident Tennessee's "Standout Youth." The honor was part of the inaugural Ripple Effect Awards presented by Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful — a Keep America Beautiful affiliate.
At the presentation, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs read similar proclamations.
"After I saw what other places in Tennessee were doing and that they had proclamations, I wanted Chattanooga to have one, too, because so many people love the river and we need take care of it," Cash said via a release from Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful. "This is just one more way to raise awareness for this beautiful river and I am proud I helped get his done!"
Cash has participated in the program to keep local waterways clean for more than a year. He was the first youth to participate in the Adopt a River Mile program where he leads monthly river cleanups for the mile he is responsible for.
Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky have all signed similar proclamations.
"We're so proud of Cash for pursuing this proclamation," said Kathleen Gibi, Executive Director for Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, via the release. "There are few adults who can say they're responsible for obtaining a Mayor's proclamation, and here we have Cash at ten- years-old showing leadership by enlisting his local elected official for the cause of the Tennessee River."
Full resolution making October 2019 'Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month'
Whereas The Tennessee Valley has over 41,000 miles of rivers, lakes, and streams; and
Whereas The recreation industry along the Tennessee River system generates almost $12 billion annually; and
Whereas Shipments by barge rather than by rail or truck saves businesses about $1 billion each year in transportation of goods with 50 million tons of goods shipped each year; and
Whereas The Tennessee Valley Authority resources the Tennessee River to help provide electricity to an estimated 9 million people via 154 power companies; and
Whereas The Tennessee River watershed has been identified as the most biodiverse river in North America including 230 species of fish, which is twice that of the Mississippi River; and
Whereas Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful is the first Keep America Beautiful affiliate in the nation to focus solely on a river, striving to rally and unify communities along the river to keep the Tennessee River healthy for generations to come; and
Whereas last year over 4,800 volunteers picked up over 173 tons—or 346,000 pounds—of trash from the waterways throughout the Tennessee Valley, representing 41 grassroot organizations; and
Whereas the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Keep Tennessee Beautiful work to support and enable local organizations to protect the waterways within their communities; and
Whereas the Tennessee River brings us together as one watershed community within seven states, including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia ; and
Whereas city ports along the Tennessee River are considered international ports given that we are part of a river system that feeds into the Gulf of Mexico; and
Whereas Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and Keep Tennessee Beautiful serve to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our most abundant resource and unifying communities across the state of Tennessee to take action;
I, Andy Berke, Mayor of the City of Chattanooga do hereby proclaim
the month of October, 2019
Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Chattanooga to be affixed this the 1st Day of October, 2019.