Volunteers needed to clean up Muskegon River watershed

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Sign-ups for the Muskegon River Trash Bash are officially underway. The annual event is a family-friendly cleanup that hopes to encourage residents and visitors of all ages to take part in protecting the river, its tributaries and the thousands of acres of land that surround it. 

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly has been hosting the event for years. It’s typically one day but grew into a much larger effort partly due to the pandemic response. 

“We couldn’t get together. We couldn’t join together on one day and clean up the river. What do we do about this? The idea was self-registration where a person or family, a church group, a class could decide what day in August might work for them and their group size,” said Scott Faulkner, the executive director of the MRWA.

Volunteers have the opportunity to do that again this year throughout the entire month of August. The Muskegon River watershed covers approximately 2,725 square miles, includes 94 connecting streams, and travels over 216 miles through nine counties from Higgins Lake to Lake Michigan in Muskegon. The month-long effort allows a seemingly daunting clean-up task to be more spread out. 

“It’s a great opportunity for people that love to paddle and love to canoe or kayak, or even float in a tube to bring their kids along and say, kids, we’re here to take care of this river so that future generations can enjoy it as well,” Faulkner said. “This year, we’re hoping to get many dozens of people, probably hundreds this year that will pick different sections of the watershed.”

You can register as early as today and choose a date and location anywhere in the watershed. After you register, you will receive an email with additional details to share with your team members. Every participant will receive a certificate of achievement and an embroidered patch along with a chance to win a great prize from a drawing. 

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