Volunteer Cleanup Opportunities 

Our cleanup season runs from October through April. We host public cleanups (sponsored by Recover) and also provide supplies for private groups that would like to clean up their local creek or neighborhood. Continue reading to learn more about each opportunity to get involved!  

Upcoming Public Cleanups 
Public Cleanups are facilitated by Catawba Riverkeeper, with funding from Recover, and are open to anyone in the community who would like to participate. They are hosted throughout the Catawba-Wateree River Basin and usually take place on a Saturday each month during the cleanup season.  

Riversweep – Saturday, October 1, 2022 
The Catawba Riversweep is one day a year when residents from all over the Catawba-Wateree River Basin come together to clean up on the same day. Choose from 40+ cleanup sites across the basin. You can sign up as an individual, as a family, or register a group (ex. Scout Troop, Youth Group, Beta Club, etc.) Learn more and sign up at catawbariversweep.org

Group Cleanups 
You can make a difference! Do you have a group that would like to host a cleanup? We will provide the supplies, and you provide the cleanup power! Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at Lauren.h@catawbariverkeeper.org with a cleanup date, time, and information about how many individuals are in your group. We will coordinate a time for you to pick up supplies at our offices. For more information on how to put together a cleanup for your group, view our Volunteer-Led Cleanup Guide.  

Individual Cleanups 
Pick up trash while you’re out on a walk, a jog, or paddle. Every little bit helps! You can buy your very own collapsible, reusable trash collecting bag to take with you on walks/runs. Buy now for $5

Tell us what you what you find! Tag us on social media.  

Corporate Cleanups 
As part of our Business Memberships, Catawba Riverkeeper organizes and facilitates small group, corporate cleanups for businesses upon request. Contact our Program Director at vanessa.c@catawbariverkeeper.org to start a conversation about hosting a cleanup with your employees. 

2022 Volunteer Cleanup Map 

See our progress so far! View our 2022 Volunteer Cleanup Map to see locations where Catawba Riverkeeper has hosted cleanups this year. Click on the red dots to view the partnered organization or business and how much trash was collected. 


Water Watchers — Community Science Volunteer Opportunities 

Community Science Initiatives provide everyone an opportunity to contribute meaningful scientific data.

Catawba Riverkeeper Water Watchers are volunteers that participate in any of our Community Science Initiatives listed below. We host quarterly training sessions to introduce you to volunteer opportunities that support and advocate for clean water in our Basin. These programs engage the public to become a clean water advocate and to protect our water through collecting and recording data that we track over time. The Water Watcher program is sponsored by GSM Services.

Take the next Water Watcher training course near you! Sign up below to learn more about when and where the next training will take place. 

Trash Trap Program 
Catawba Riverkeeper manages 3 trash traps across the basin. Current locations are Freedom Park in Charlotte, Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, and Duhart Creek in Gastonia. Hours vary week to week but are flexible. Cleanouts happen at least twice a month and after rain events. Join us to help sort through the litter findings to record some community science data!  

Swim Guide 
During the summer months, we need volunteers to help us collect samples on each of our major lakes to test for bacteria. Swim Guide is a valuable program that provides water quality data for swimming sites. 

Swim Guide Volunteer Boat Captains have an assigned sampling route that they complete every Thursday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. ‘Runner’ Volunteers drop-off the sampling supplies to Boat Captains and pick up the water samples to return for bacteria testing at our in-house lab. Volunteer registration typically opens in February each year. Contact Volunteer Coordinator at Lauren.h@catawbariverkeeper.org to learn more about how you can participate. 

Monofilament Fishing Line Recycling 
In partnership with SC Department of Natural Resources, Palmetto Pride and Duke Energy, we are launching Monofilament Fishing Line Recycling in several South Carolina locations. We need Community Scientists (willing individuals, Scout Troops, or local organizations) to volunteer as Site Captains to monitor and empty recycling bins. Contact lauren.h@catawbariverkeeper.org for more information on managing or installing a bin near you. View the map for current bin locations. Locations that need a site captain are indicated when you click on each site. 

Alligator Weed Invasive Species Project 
Thanks to a Duke Energy Habitat Enhancement grant, we’ve launched a pilot program to address Alligator Weed. Interested in learning more or being part of the volunteer team that relocates beetles who eat Alligator Weed? 

Special Event Volunteer Opportunities 
Catawba Riverkeeper hosts special events throughout the year, like our annual RiverFest or Jam at the Dam live music series. Special event volunteers help these events run smoothly.