Join American Rivers In Celebrating The 25th Anniversary Of National River Cleanup®!

Keurig cleanup | Lowell GeorgeA National River Cleanup volunteer
| Lowell George

National River Cleanup (NRC) is a key initiative for American Rivers. Since its inception in 1991, NRC has engaged more than 1.3 million volunteers who have participated in thousands of cleanups across the country, covering more than 252,694 miles of waterways and removing more than 25 million pounds of litter and debris. In 2015 NRC registered 1,370 cleanups at locations nationwide using 46,448 volunteers who removed 2 million pounds of trash.

Throughout 2016, National River Cleanup will celebrate its 25th anniversary! As we move into this milestone year, we will be engaging more volunteers and supporters across the country in our efforts to both recognize our impact as well increase the number of river stewards giving back to their communities.

25th Anniversary Events:

In addition to continuing to support our local organizers, American Rivers will be holding river cleanups in our priority river basins throughout 2016. We already have a few cleanups on our calendar:

  • April
    • Anacostia River Cleanup – Washington, DC
  • July
    • Yampa River Cleanup – Steamboat Springs, CO
  • September
    • Ashley River Cleanup – Charleston, SC
    • Nooksack River Cleanup – Bellingham, WA
    • Marsh Creek Cleanup – Brentwood, CA

Keep checking back to get the latest updates on our basin cleanups and how you can get involved!

Voting for the 2015 National River Cleanup Photo Contest Is Open!

The top 10 finalists have been selected! Make sure you get your vote in before February 5th. Thanks to everyone for their submissions!

Lisa-Cochran-Cinncinnati-OH-Ohio-River-SweepThe 2014 Photo Contest winner: Ohio River Sweep | Jerry Schulte

NRC’s 2015 Season Comes to a Close

Thank you for another great year of river cleanups! Because of the hard work of our organizers and volunteers, America’s waterways are cleaner, safer, and healthier.

In 2015, National River Cleanup®:

  • Registered 1,370 sites;
  • Mobilized 46,448 volunteers; and
  • Removed 2,002,671 pounds of trash from our nation’s waterways!

Working Together to Clean Our Waterways

National River Cleanup® was launched in 1991, offering support to individuals, organizations and anyone interested in conducting a cleanup on their local river. By registering a cleanup with American Rivers, organizers receive free trash bags, assistance with online and print media coverage, volunteer promotion online and technical support.

Since its start, more than 1,241,610 volunteers have participated in thousands of cleanups across the country covering more than 252,694 miles of waterways. These cleanups have removed more than 20.7 million pounds of litter and debris from America’s rivers and streams.

Take Action with National River Cleanup in 2015:


Register a Cleanup, Report Results, and Promote.


Learn more and Find a Cleanup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions. For more information email NRC or call 202-243-7033.