Skip to main content

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 Loomis
    Phone: 309.230.0057

  • 2019 GMRC Cleanups

    5.11 | La Crosse, WI | 204 volunteers removed 12,660 lbs of trash |  100 55-gallon barrels, 19 tires, and more were cleaned up by the volunteers. Check out their page here.  


    5.11 | Buffalo City/Alma, WI | 72 volunteers removed 6,215 lbs of trash 


    6.29 | Bellevue, IA | 18 volunteers removed 380lbs of trash | Volunteers were able to return displaced items to their owners from the flooding and also work with the DNR to restore their trout pond area. Check out their Facebook page here.


    8.1 | St. Paul, MN | 110 volunteers removed 2,160 lbs of trash | Check out the event's page here


    9.28 | St. Louis, MO "The GMRC at Gateway National Park" | 20 volunteers removed 750 lbs of garbage 

Our Impact

  • Pounds of Trash Removed


  • Volunteers Involved


  • Students Educated


  • Trees Planted


© 2021 Living Lands & Waters

Powered by Firespring