National River Cleanup Kicks Off First Week of June

Thousands of Americans Cleaning up Neighborhood Creeks, Streams and Rivers

June 2nd, 2008

<P>Amy Kober, American Rivers, (206) 213-0330 ext. 23</P>
<P>Josh Klein, 202-347-7550 </P>

To register a river cleanup or volunteer to participate, visit:

WASHINGTON, DC Millions of tons of trash wind up in our nation’s rivers and streams every year, and American Rivers is harnessing the community pride of thousands of Americans to do something about it. The nation’s leading river conservation organization is encouraging citizens to take part in National River Cleanup, June 2-8, 2008. 

Since its inception in 1992, National River Cleanup has helped raise public awareness about the health of our nation’s rivers and streams, and has inspired citizens to take action. Over the years more than 500,000 volunteers have participated in over 4,500 cleanups across the country, covering more than 100,000 miles of waterways. 

National River Cleanup is made possible through the generous support of partners including Tom’s of Maine and Green Mountain Coffee. Subaru is the official vehicle of National River Cleanup.

“Last year alone, more than 600 tons of trash was removed from our rivers by National River Cleanup volunteers,” said Rebecca Wodder, President of American Rivers. 

“With so many cleanups all across the country, odds are that there is one right in your own backyard,” added Wodder. “And if there isn’t, there can be. Organizing a river cleanup is a tremendously rewarding experience. Registering your cleanup only takes a few seconds at”

“A cleaner river is a healthier one, and healthy rivers bring so many benefits to our communities. You can’t find a more hands-on way to get people directly involved in protecting the rivers they love,” added Wodder.

Thanks to new tools on, registering a cleanup has never been easier. This year, American Rivers has increased and improved the support it gives to cleanup organizers including hosting individual event web pages for all registered cleanups, volunteer recruitment tools for organizers, and a Cleanup Organizer’s Handbook. American Rivers also provides free trash bags to cleanup organizers. Prospective volunteers can quickly find the cleanup nearest to them, sign up for the cleanup of their choice, and keep up to date with all the latest National River Cleanup news.

River cleanups are fun for all ages. Many environmental organizations, civic clubs, paddle-sports groups, federal and state agencies, and schools organize cleanups in their communities.

National River Cleanup 2007 Facts

  • Bags of trash filled: 100,980
  • Trash removed: 600 tons
  • Cleanup organizers: 528
  • Cleanup sites: 583
  • Volunteers: 95,109
  • River miles cleaned: 7,453
  • Notable items removed
  • Toilet seats, washing machines, motorcycle, outhouse, exercise bike, propane tank, baby pool, telephone pole, lawn mower, hot tub, circular saw and tractor.
  • Civic leaders in attendance 102 — including city council members, state representatives, mayors and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Percent of organizers who plan to participate again: 99%

Trash Facts:

Type of Litter in Rivers

  • Fast food waste (33%)
  • Paper (29%)
  • Aluminum (28%)
  • Glass (6%)
  • Plastic (2%)
  • Other (2%)

How Long Litter Lasts: Orange peel (2-5 weeks); Paper bag (1 month); Cigarette butt (up to 5 years); Leather shoe (45 years); Plastic bottle (430 years); Aluminum can (200-500 years); Disposable diaper (550 years); Glass bottle (Approx. 1 million years); Styrofoam container (1 million years).



About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at,, and