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Cleanup Programs

Collect, Count, and Advocate

Tracking litter data to empower real solutions.

Spring Sweep

Spring Sweep is our largest event of the year and part of the annual Great Lakes CleanUP, where we are joined by volunteers across the Great Lakes region in removing litter from our shorelines and protecting our waterways.

After pouring over the Clean Swell app data, here’s what we found out for 2024:

Thanks to all who volunteered for Spring Sweep 2024 and also counted the litter they found. We will take this information and use it to advocate for cleaner waterways and better recycling practices by companies that make packaging later found as trash and litter.

We will take this information and use it to advocate for cleaner waterways and better recycling practices by companies that make packaging later found as trash and litter.

Thanks to our Spring Sweep Sponsors!

Thanks to our Spring Sweep Sponsors!

Data Webinar

Learn about our digital data collection efforts from this webinar.

Check out the site map below for our 2024 Spring Sweep. Click a site to learn more and to register. 

Collecting Data

A key component of our cleanups is not only removing litter, but also tracking the types of litter using the Clean Swell app. Including data collection in your cleanup increases your impact locally and around the Great Lakes region by supporting our advocacy efforts.
Check out how our volunteer’s data collection efforts supported the work of our NYS Attorney General’s office. 
Attorney General's Lawsuit
See Pictures from the 2024 Sweep!

Spring Sweep 2024, part of the Great Lakes Cleanup, was April 20 on Earth Day. We officially launched our digital data collection efforts by using the Clean Swell App, which directly connects the information we collect here locally to the Ocean Conservancy’s largest marine debris database in the world, TIDES. This allows our data to be instantly accessible and helps to support our work to address the root causes of litter pollution here locally and globally.

The Sweep was also part of the Great Lakes CleanUP, a week long trash removal effort created in partnership with 18 other groups and organizations from around the Great Lakes basin. In WNY, cleanup sites were throughout the Niagara River Watershed for volunteers to work collectively with folks around the basin to stop thousands of pounds of litter from polluting our waterways. The Great Lakes is the drinking water resource for over 40 million people and we are excited to lead this region-wide stewardship event.

Solo Sweep

Are you interested in volunteering to cleanup before or after the Spring Sweep? Check out our Solo Sweep page to do a cleanup any day that works for you!

Cleanup pro tip: bring your own bucket to save on a trash bag and make data collection a breeze!

Learn how to use the Clean Swell app.

Continue Cleanups
Take the solo sweep pledge to continue to make an impact.
Plastic pollution is negatively impacting our water – locally and globally. Our sweeps are one important way to protect our waterways. Learn how to reduce your single-use plastic consumption by following us on social media.
Information Contact | Brittni Anderson
Press Contact | Jennifer Fee
Sponsorship Contact | Dani Priebe
Make Your Own Reusable Bag
Don’t trash our waterways! Learn more about the plastic bag ban and how to create your own t-shirt bag.
Make Your Own Reusable Bag
Donate to Cleanups
Consider donating towards our Cleanup Programs.