Efforts to clean up Hatchie River are underway - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Efforts to clean up Hatchie River are underway

By Justin Hanson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Hatchie River is the only undisturbed Mississippi river tributary between Cairo, Illinois and the Gulf of Mexico. Now, thanks to the efforts of one West Tennessee man, this river is getting cleaner.

Conner Franklin has been cruising the Hatchie River all his life. 

"There are a lot of people that use it...there's a lot of people that actually lost contact with the heritage the river represents," Franklin said in a recent interview.

According to Franklin, part of preserving the river's heritage comes in keeping this West Tennessee treasure clean.

Franklin said he and his family pick up trash from the Hatchie every time they're out on the boat.

"We try to go ahead and take out more than what we brought in," he said.

Franklin added he's seen all kinds of trash and debris in the river and on its banks. 

"We've seen everything from microwaves to deep freezes to automobiles," he said. 

Now, Franklin is hoping others in the community will join him in his clean-up effort.  Outside the Mississippi, the Hatchie River is one of the major rivers in West Tennessee.  It runs about 200 miles from Walnut Mississippi to the Mississippi river just north of Memphis.

Franklin says part of pollution problem doesn't necessarily come from people throwing things out of boats.  Rather, he said, some of the trash flows directly from farm fields that drain into the Hatchie.

"A lot of the chemicals that were being put in the river from municipalities, from farmers, from agriculture practices, really deteriorated the health of the river and the ecosystem that surrounds it," he said. 

No matter the amount of trash, Franklin hopes to keep the historic river around for hundreds of years to come. 

Franklin's Hatchie River clean up is set to take place this Saturday, September 19.  For more information or to keep up with Franklin's Hatchie River blog, just click here.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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