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SATURDAY: 100+ shoreline cleanups in 1 day along the Hudson

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Contact: Leah Rae, [email protected], (914) 715-6821

100+ shoreline cleanups in 1 day: 1,500 volunteers will ‘Sweep’ the Hudson Saturday, May 7

11th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep is happening at 122 locations from Staten Island to the Adirondacks;

Volunteers will clean shorelines and foster native plants

Ossining, N.Y. – On Saturday, May 7, volunteers will carry out 122 shoreline cleanups and planting projects in the 11th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep – a day of service for the Hudson River that extends from New York Harbor to the Adirondack Mountains.

Riverkeeper Sweep is the largest one-day cleanup along the Hudson, with more than 1,500 volunteers expected to turn out along hundreds of miles of shoreline. They will remove trash, plant trees and native grasses, and remove invasive plants along New York City waterways, the Hudson and its tributaries. The projects are organized by local schools, businesses, Scout troops, paddling groups, park staff and others.

Registration is open to all through noon Friday at An interactive map is available to search locations and details of each project.

In the 11 years since the first Riverkeeper Sweep in 2012, volunteers have removed more than 300 tons of debris from the shorelines, including 1,675 tires, and planted or maintained thousands of trees and shrubs. Once-neglected areas have gained year-round stewards. And volunteers help advocate for measures to reduce plastic pollution, which makes up the bulk of the shoreline trash.

New and noteworthy this year:

  • Staten Island will have its first Riverkeeper Sweep project, one of 23 happening across NYC’s five boroughs. Riverkeeper is teaming up with the Natural Resources Protective Association on the cleanup at Buono Beach.
  • Volunteers in Washington Heights will focus on a specific source of pollution: cigarette butts. The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board is organizing a cleanup along 165th Street and Riverside Park as part of its “NO BUTTS” campaign.
  • Flushing Bay is the site of the largest Sweep project, Jennifer’s Annual Flushing Bay Cleanup, led by Empire Dragons NYC, Guardians of Flushing Bay, and Riverkeeper.
  • Eight Sweep projects, including Buono Beach, are happening as part of New York’s I Love My Park Day, which coincides with the 2022 Sweep. Others are at Rockwood Hall in Sleepy Hollow, Bronx River Reservation in White Plains and Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park in Croton, Ossining and Yonkers.
  • Volunteers at three locations will collect data on the components of shoreline trash: Randall’s Island on the East River, Annsville Creek in Peekskill, and the Hudson River waterfront in Beacon.
  • Volunteers will conduct cleanups by boat at 11 locations, including Losee Park in Tarrytown, Annsville Creek Paddlesport Center in Peekskill and Lower Esopus Creek in Kingston.
  • The northernmost project is at North Creek in the Adirondacks, where the North Creek Farmers Market and Hudson River White Water Derby are leading a cleanup and flower beds project at Riverfront Park.

“I encourage everyone to see Riverkeeper Sweep as an opportunity to pay closer attention to what ends up in our waterways – and what to do about it,” said Katie Leung, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator at Riverkeeper. “Single-use plastic is virtually everywhere, and these items do not break down quickly. Even when they do, they will never entirely disappear from the environment. While we work on much bigger solutions – generating less waste, and handling it responsibly – we can also take steps of our own. Find one single-use plastic item you can do without, for example. It doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to start somewhere, and you can start where you live. Riverkeeper Sweep is one of the ways you can act locally, make an immediate impact on a global problem, and see real results when you’re done.”

The one-day cleanup is part of year-round efforts aiming to reduce plastic pollution. Collection data from Riverkeeper Sweep has helped make the case for common-sense legislation aimed at reducing our use of plastic, whether the focus is straws, Styrofoam or single-use bags.

In recent years, the most commonly reported item of trash at Sweep locations has been the same: plastic bottles.

Riverkeeper is supporting the Bottle Bill at 40 campaign, which celebrates 40 years of New York’s successful bottle redemption program and calls for its expansion to non-carbonated beverages. The campaign also calls for an increased deposit, from 5 to 10 cents, to incentivize better rates of bottle redemption. Together with NYPIRG and other allies, Riverkeeper calls on the state Legislature and Governor Hochul to modernize and expand New York’s bottle bill.

Trash enters the Hudson River and its tributaries from a variety of sources, including rains that wash street garbage into storm drains, illegal dumping, and littering. Much of it washes up on the shoreline – threatening wildlife, public health and the vitality of shared community spaces.

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Community voices on ‘Why I Sweep’

“Sweep is an opportunity to teach important lessons to our children about human impact on the planet. It’s clear that when you get kids involved in the cleanup – even at a young age – they know that they’re doing something positive. They get excited knowing that they’ve made an impact, all while having fun outside.” – Suzie Ross, Green Ossining

“When I connect people with the river, I become more hopeful for our survival on this planet. Picking up trash that unintentionally or intentionally makes its way into the river or along its banks brings you face to face with your responsibility to ‘be the change,’ and encourage others to be the change as well.” – Jeffrey Scales, JSA Financial, Rhinebeck

“What matters to me is that cleaning up a section of the creek does make a difference: visually, in the health of the creek, and in my heart.” – Sarah Underhill, Rondout Creek Watershed Alliance
“I sweep to honor the many stories that the Hudson has to tell, from those that lived here long before Henry Hudson began his journey up our waterway to the stories of future generations that have not yet been told.” – Kate Morse, Hudson Crossing Park

“Each year, Riverkeeper Sweep is an opportunity to connect with the community on our shared goal of a clean and healthy Hudson River. The river is a treasure, and the popularity of this event reflects the river’s unique place in New York’s environmental and cultural mosaic.” – Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper
“Riverkeeper Sweep is the essential reminder that we are united through these bodies – water bodies – and it is up to us to take action and keep these connections flowing.” – Erin Provenzano, Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson

Sweep to Your Brewery

Breweries understand the value of clean water, and support the Sweep by inviting all registered volunteers to meet at any of 24 Hudson Valley and New York City breweries for a beverage on the house:

Gun Hill Brewing Co
Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC)
Other Half Brewing Company
Transmitter Brewing

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
Peekskill Brewery
Sing Sing Kill Brewery

Defiant Brewing Co
Industrial Arts Brewing Company

Hudson Valley Brewery
Industrial Arts Brewing Company
Mill House Brewing Company
Plan Bee Farm Brewery
Two Way Brewing Company

Hoot Owl Restaurant
Newburgh Brewing Company

Arrowood Farm-Brewery
Keegan Ales
P & G’s Restaurant and Bar
Yard Owl Craft Brewery

Crossroads Brewing Company
Subversive Malting and Brewing

C.H. Evans Brewing Co

Common Roots Brewing Company


Riverkeeper is grateful for the support of our 2022 sponsors Pukka Herbs, Ironshore, HSBC, JSA Sustainable Wealth Management, M&T Bank, Chappuis Halder & Co., Eileen Fisher, Guardian Life, Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation, Mohawk Group and Tombolo, and site sponsors Century Aggregates/Bonded Concrete and Homelight – Sell Your Home Fast In Syosset.

2022 Sweep Sponsors

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