River / Lake Clean Up’s

Annual River / Lake Clean Up’s:

River Run Garbage Grab: Occurs early spring 

Every spring after the snow melts but before the students leave, the City of Ames and Iowa State mimi and gregUniversity cooperate on a city-wide effort to pick up the garbage revealed by the retreating drifts.

Contact: Skunk River Paddlers




Iowa Project AWARE: A Watershed Awareness River Expedition: Occurs mid July

Jul 12-17, 2020: Iowa Project AWARE. River TBD 

Iowa Project AWARE, the state’s premiere river cleanup & education event, sponsored by a partnership of nonprofit N-Compass Inc., the Iowa DNR, and the State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa. Their mission is to engage Iowans in cleaning up their rivers while learning more about the river’s water quality, biology, geology, and cultural history.

Watch for updates & registration at  https://www.iowaprojectaware.org/home


Brian Soenen: Iowa Project AWARE Coordinator

brian@iowaprojectaware.org or (319) 538-6970

Lynette Seigley: Iowa Project AWARE Assistant

lynette@iowaprojectaware.org or (319) 351-9393


Cedar River Festival Group: Occurs mid to late July.

“The mission of the Group is to educate the community about celebrating and preserving the beauty of the Cedar River as a local natural resource.”

The oldest river clean up in the state. The Cedar River near Waterloo /Cedar Falls is cleaned up annually.  There is a fundraiser in February each year. The clean up is on a Saturday, mid to late July, along with a festival the next day, on Sunday.

Contact: http://www.crfgroup.org


River Run Garbage Grab (R2G2) : Occurs mid August 

River Run Garbage Grab is a city-wide event that allows volunteers the opportunity to remove trash from the Des Moines River or along its adjacent trails – paddlers, rowers, power boaters, walkers, hikers, bicyclers, mountain bikers, birders, etc. are all welcome!

Volunteers can choose from many land and water based locations. Polk County Conservation will be stationed at the Yellow Banks boat ramp along the Des Moines River.

Registration is required. For more information about this event, please contact Pat Spain at (515) 323-5280, or pat.spain@polkcountyiowa.gov


Lower Wapsipinicon River Clean Up Project (LWRCP): Occurs mid August since 2006

A grassroots effort bringing together volunteers and sponsors to clean the Lower Wapsipinicon River and backwaters in an effort to make the public aware of this precious natural resource.

Contact: Melisa Jacobsen: http://lwrcp.org/


George Wyth State Park Lake Clean up’s: Occurs in September 

Chain of Lakes on Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail: Waterloo

Includes: George Wyth Lake, Alice Wyth Lake and Brinker Lake

Contact: Cedar Valley Paddlers:  cedarvalleypaddlers@gmail.com


Iowa River Clean Up: Occurs mid September 

The Iowa River Clean Up Project is an annual event to help keep the Iowa River beautiful. Participants meet at the Sturgis Ferry Park and paddle to Hills Access (9.5 miles), along the way picking up trash and debris that has been discarded into the Iowa River. Volunteers on land help to sort and dispose of the debris properly. Volunteers are needed both on land and water.

Contact Carol Sweeting at 319-541-2385 or email carol-sweeting@iowa-city.or


Upper Iowa River Clean Up: Occurs last Saturday of September 

A section of need is chosen annually on the Upper Iowa in Northeast Iowa.

Contact: Chimney Rock Campground: 563-735-5786 or  http://chimneyrocks.com

Please forward corrections or additions to  iowawta@gmail.com