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Our Projects

Great Mississippi River Cleanup


In 2010, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup (GMRC) was initiated by Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) to inspire communities to host an annual cleanup event. After four very successful years cleaning up primarily the Upper Mississippi River, we expanded our cleanup efforts to the full length of the river! From the Headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana, volunteers participate by cleaning up the Mighty Mississippi and taking action that produces results not rhetoric! To date, we’ve helped coordinate 125 cleanups and, with the help of more than 10,230 volunteers, removed 610,024 pounds of debris from the Mississippi River!



  • How does the GMRC work?

    The GMRC is our way to support cleanups that we can’t actually attend! We work with families, groups and businesses all up and down the Mississippi to plan cleanups. We provide guidance and supplies. We have opportunities to volunteer as well as information about starting your own site. Read below!

  • How can I volunteer?

    Whether you and a friend decide to walk the shorelines with garbage bags or you are able to organize 200 volunteers with boats, Great Mississippi River Cleanups (GMRCs) happen in all shapes and sizes! We’ve had families, classrooms and communities hold GMRCs! You pick the time, date and location that works best for you. Participating is completely free - and we even provide biodegradable garbage bags and reusable work gloves! We just ask that you complete a garbage log and have all cleanup volunteers complete our waiver.

    Click here for a list of potential Site Coordinator Responsibilities.

    Looking to get involved in someone else’s cleanup? That’s also an option. Reach out to our GMRC coordinator, Rachel, to learn more about site coordinators possibly in your area!

  • Who do I contact for more information?

    Rachel Dooley
    Phone: 309.230.0057

  • 2021 GMRC Cleanups

     4.24.2021 | Alma, WI | 53 Pool 5 Clean Up Volunteers removed garbage from 3 boat landing areas: 97 barrels, 64 bags of trash, 15 tires, 9 chairs and more. Visit their Facebook page to learn more about the event here


    5.6 + 5.7.2021 | La Crosse, WI | 470 hard-working volunteers removed 63 tires, 136-55 gallon plastic barrels, 3,690 lbs. of metal scrap and 19,590 lbs. of random debris and plastic! Check out their website here for more details + how to get involved in 2022. Follow their Facebook page @rivercleanuplacrosse


    9.25.2021 | St. Louis, MO | 54 volunteers removed garbage near the Gateway Arch! Participants filled up 100 bags of debris! They also removed 30 lbs. Of large sized random plastic, 100 lbs. Of metal scrap, 2 gas cans, 1 car tire, foam and 200 lbs of fabric. Join next year for their clean up on National Public Lands Day! More information to come during 2022.


    Interested in becoming a GMRC Site Coordinator somewhere along the mighty Mississippi River?  We are seeking more site coordinators to help keep this beautiful river clean.  

    Contact LLW Crew Member, Rachel Dooley, for more details:

  • 2022 Upcoming GMRC Cleanups

    We do not currently have any GMRC events scheduled!

    For more information or to schedule your own event, contact Rachel Dooley at 309.230.0057 or!


Our Impact

  • Pounds of Trash Removed


  • Volunteers Engaged


  • Students Educated


  • Trees Planted


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