ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia’s leading water protection coalition recently presented its Clean 13 Water Heroes Award to the Fulton County Commission.

Aside from climate change, probably no other environmental challenge has received more public attention recently than the plague of plastic pollution fouling waterways and oceans. In July 2019, the Fulton County Commission became the first local governing body in Georgia to take a stand against plastic pollution, adopting a resolution aimed at eliminating single-use plastics in all government properties.

To bring statewide recognition to the issue, the Georgia Water Coalition included Fulton County’s achievement in their 2019 Clean 13 report. The annual report highlights individuals, businesses, industries, non-profits and governmental agencies whose extraordinary efforts have led to cleaner rivers, stronger communities and a more sustainable future for Georgians.

“As a native Atlantan, I’m so proud that Fulton County is the trailblazer,” said Rena Peck, executive director of Georgia River Network, who presented the award to Fulton Commission Chairman Rob Pitts. “It took a lot of guts and tenacity by the commissioners and staff. It’s hard to count how many times the resolution went back to the board for examination, but Fulton County has taken the lead in curbing the stream of plastics into our waterways.”

The 13 water heroes recognized in the report were slated to receive their awards at a the Clean 13 Celebration in Atlanta on March 12, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Georgia Water Coalition is a consortium of more than 260 conservation and environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, businesses and faith-based organizations that have been working to protect Georgia’s water since 2002. The Coalition annually publishes the Clean 13 list to recognize positive efforts on behalf of Georgia’s water and to bring attention to the issue to state leaders and citizens.

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