13-Year-old Boy Removed 14,000 Pounds of Trash from Tennessee River

13-Year-old Boy Removed 14,000 Pounds of Trash from Tennessee River

January 4, 2022 by By Cathy Stack

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A young Chattanooga resident earned the nickname “The Conservation Kid” for his efforts to remove trash and debris from his beloved Tennessee River.  At age 7, Cash Daniels first learned about the river’s pollution problem. He researched online and discovered that the river and its tributaries supplied drinking water to approximately 5.1 million people. He wanted to help clean the river for the sake of the people and wildlife who depend on it for survival. Now 13, Cash and the teams of volunteers he helped recruit have successfully removed 14,000 pounds of trash and 1.5 tons of recyclable aluminum from the waterway.

He also raised funds to purchase monofilament recycling bins to help reduce the amount of discarded fishing line in the river that can entangle birds and other wildlife.

The Tennessee River is the nation’s fifth-largest river system and one of the most biodiverse rivers in North America. Due to landfill waste, it has tested higher for microplastics than any other river in the world. 

To carry out his inspiring mission to improve the river’s health, Cash contacted local news outlets and created a website, The Conservation Kid, to attract volunteers for cleanup projects.  

Cash also wrote a children’s book, “One Small Piece,” to educate kids about river pollution and environmental issues. Cash believes that children should start thinking about ways to help when they are young, and he is confident that young conservationists like himself will change the world. 

“You are never too old or young,” said Cash. “Get out there! And if someone says you can’t do it, then prove them wrong and get out there and do it!”

In addition to his love for the river that flows through his hometown, Cash has a passion for oceans and marine life. The deep blue sea and its enchanting creatures have always drawn him. He wants to teach other kids how the ocean affects every human life and how it supplies fresh water, nutrients and oxygen – and he wants people to learn how they can help preserve it.    

Cash hosts a YouTube video series called “TheCleanUp Kids” to encourage activism beyond his own community. His goal is to inspire and engage youth to participate in the mission of cleaning and protecting our oceans and waterways. He hopes to create a positive ripple effect around the world.

He was named 2021 Youth Conservationist of the Year, and he placed in the top 25 for the prestigious Gloria Barron Prize for young heroes.  

PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life believe that Cash Daniels is a true hero for his dedication and hard work. He has invested much of his time and energy to help save the Tennessee River. He also tirelessly works to help increase awareness about conservation issues affecting waterways and wildlife. His actions are a great example of the value of making a difference. Please help us celebrate Cash by sharing his inspiring story. 

Please tell us about your everyday hero. The heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at: www.passiton.com/your-billboards/create.

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Photo credit: The Conservationist Kid


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Your Comments
tanner from phoenix MAY 16, 2023
yes good job man

Cheryl from Oconomowoc WI JANUARY 5, 2022
Cash you are an awesome young man! Your knowledge and determination is inspiring. I think you are going to do many great things in your life. I would also like to thank your parents for raising such a great kid!

Kennerh from Calgary, Canada JANUARY 5, 2022
That's Awesome !!! Thank you Cash. We need more young kids or ( people ) to learn how to save the environment , not to pollute or destroy our planet earth.

Lynise Tarring from Hilo, Hawai'i  JANUARY 5, 2022
Thank you Cash, sincerely. You not only gave me more HOPE on tomorrow but you taught us all to learn from yesterday, and hope for tomorrow. God Bless YOU! :)

Jill QH from New Jersey JANUARY 4, 2022
THANK YOU CASH! You are an inspiration to all!!! Thank you for as you say "getting out there" and making a difference! Amazing work!!!

mack from kansas JANUARY 4, 2022
#teamseas or in this case #teamrivers

Mardel Rick from Wisconsin  JANUARY 4, 2022
Great job young man!!!!!!!!!!

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