The Conservation Kid

“Even though kids may be a small part of the population, we are 100% of the future.” 

A Kid’s Heart for Conservation

When young Cash Daniels learned that 80% of trash in the ocean comes from rivers, he knew he couldn’t wait for someone else to take action. At the age of seven, Cash, “The Conservation Kid,” began leading cleanups in the Tennessee River in his hometown, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Six years later, Cash continues to make a significant impact on the river’s health by strategically collecting fishing waste and inspiring his peers to protect the environment.

Reeling in a Solution

Cash’s primary method of river conservation is handmade filament bins designed for fishers to leave their used lines and lures in. If these plastic pieces are discarded into the water, they can fatally entangle, choke, or chemically contaminate river wildlife such as seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals. Cash collects the waste and sends it to be recycled into new habitats for fish, creating a closed-loop system that protects wildlife instead of harming it.

A Closer Look at the Tennessee River

The Tennessee River is over 650 miles long. It originates in Knoxville, Tennessee, and flows into the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky. The upper basin of the river is home to over 200 freshwater fish, mussels, and birds.

The Tennessee is one of the most microplastic-polluted rivers in the world, with close to 18,000 microplastics per cubic meter of water found in 2018. But because of Cash Daniels, the future of the river is bright.

Water Drops

6,000 pounds

of trash removed from our waterways in 2021


40 monofilament

receptacles placed throughout the Tennessee State Parks

Trash Volunteer

1,291 pounds

of aluminum cans recycled in 2022

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