The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup initiative is an effort to focus attention to the Great Lakes and to all the of the great work that is being done to cleanup our lakes, streams, and waterways. Through the coordination of many associated clean up events, to be held around the week of Earth Day, our goal is to make this the single largest series of linked clean up events ever planned and held during this one period of time on the Great Lakes.   The individual Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup events will be planned to be held between Saturday April 17th and Saturday April 24th, to coincide with the celebration of Earth Day which falls on April 22nd.






The objectives of holding this large scale coordinated cleanup event is to:

  1. Improve the aesthetics of the Great Lakes by removing garbage from public areas and roadsides
  2. Reduce the amount of plastic and litter on our lands and in our waterways
  3. Remove waste that could potentially be ingested by pets and other wildlife
  4. Provide an opportunity for public participation in collaborative activities
  5. Educate the public about the effects of littering, the importance of recycling, and instill a sense of stewardship
  6. Collect and report back to organizers cleanup metrics to track the impacts of all the cleanups


  • Engage as many Districts, Clubs, Rotarians, and other volunteers around the Great Lakes
  • Each Club should find out what is happening in their community(s) regarding cleanups. Engage with local Conservation Authorities, Watershed groups or local NGO to see what is already planned in your area to see if there is an opportunity to coordinate or partner with an existing event.
  • If there is not an event already planned in your community, look to organize your own event.
  • Support will be available to each club or group to help with organizing an event
  • Correspond with District contact to provide cleanup event date, locations, and lead contact person for each event.