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Environmental group works to clean up Tennessee River ahead of Bassmaster Classic

Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, an environmental group, teamed up with other organizations to clean the Tennessee River before anglers compete on it.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An environmental nonprofit organization that focuses on keeping the Tennessee River clear of pollution organized a cleanup event ahead of a large event expected to kick off in Knoxville on Friday — the 2023 Bassmaster Classic.

Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful said they were teaming up with Yamaha Rightwaters and AFTCO for Tuesday's cleanup event. Teams swept through the shorelines of Fort Loudoun Lake to pick up litter and make sure it was ready for the event.

Fort Loudoun Lake runs from Lenoir City to the eastern edge of Knoxville, and anglers are expected to head onto it during the Bassmaster Classic competition.

The cleanup event started at the Duncan Boat Dock at 2329 Duncan Rd. They were expected to bring out two 26-foot workboats to bring volunteers along the river's shorelines.

They were joined by some professional anglers, who gave them a hand in picking up the shorelines. Those anglers were Ish Monroe, Bobby Lane and Bill Lowen. Volunteers were also given free lunch and received giveaways.

"Probably the most prolific item we're going to find out there are throw-away drink containers," said Kathleen Gibi, the executive director of KTNRB. "While it's really important for us to have this litter removed today, we're really looking to create awareness with what's removed and share this story with what our volunteers pull out today."

During a previous event in January, 25 volunteers worked together to remove around 3,683 pounds of trash from Fort Loudon Lake. Tuesday's event went from 9:30 a.m. through 2 p.m.

Anyone interested in volunteering for future cleanup events can sign up online.

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