MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — The eighth annual Muskegon River Clean-Up is on Saturday, Aug. 3, and organizers of the event are asking for volunteers. 

It's expected to attract around 500 participants. It's grown every year since Jerry Carlson, the founder of the Muskegon-River Clean-Up Company, LLC, saw a need for the event beginning in 2012.

"People using such a beautiful river and they think it's a waste can, just sad," Carlson said.

About the event

  • Volunteers who register have a chance to win a number of prizes including 10 kayaks this year.
  • The event is free, however parking fees will be collected at the Bridgeton Township Launch. 
  • Participants need to find their own transportation back to the boat launch from the take out location at Maple Island.
  • Registration is between 9:00 a.m. and noon at the Bridgeton site located at 5631 West South River Dr., near West 112th Street and Warner Avenue.
  • Registered participants who've collected trash from the river will be given a ticket for a hot dog lunch. 
  • Prizes will be given away starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Maple Island Launch Site.

Each year volunteers float down the Muskegon River starting at the Bridgeton Township Park boat launch. By the time they reach the Maple Island launch ramp about 5 miles down river they've collected hundreds of pounds of trash.

In 2018 it was enough trash to fill a large dump truck including 4,326 beverage containers, one chair, a milk can, and 25 pairs of swimming googles. 

"We've found bowling balls, sewing machines, a couple of folding metal beds, glass, and we always find tires," Carlson said.

One year volunteers removed more than 100 flip flops. "You're not going to keep them on when you step in the muck, it will suck them off, and the next thing you know we've got to find them," Carlson said.

2018's event included 519 volunteers. "I'd like to see 1,000 someday," Carlson said.

The event is sponsored by Muskegon River Clean-Up Company, LLC. 

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